The world’s largest oil producers
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The world is in the midst of the first energy crisis of the 21st century.
High energy prices, particularly for oil, gas and coal, have fueled decades of inflation in several countries, some of which also suffer from energy shortages. Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated the crisis as the country is both a major producer and exporter of oil and natural gas.
Using data from BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy, the above infographic provides further context on the crisis by visualizing the world’s top oil producers in 2021.
Oil Production: OPEC Countries vs. Rest of the World
Before looking at country-level data, it’s worth looking at the amount of oil that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) produces compared to other organizations and regions.
|Region/Organization||Oil production 2021 (barrels per day)||% of total|
|North America||23.9 million||27%|
|Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)||13.8 million||fifteen%|
|rest of the world||20.5 million||23%|
|In total||89.9 million||100%|
The OPEC countries are together the largest oil producers, only Saudi Arabia is opening one third of OPEC production. It’s also important to note that OPEC production remains below pre-pandemic levels after the organization reduced its production by an unprecedented level 10 million barrels a day (B/D) in 2020.
After OPEC, the US, Canada and Mexico accounted for just over a quarter of global oil production in 2021. Nearly 70% of North American oil production came from the USA, the largest oil producer in the world.
Similarly, within the CIS – an organization of post-Soviet countries – Russia was by far the largest producer 80% of the entire CIS production.
The largest oil producers in 2021
Rough 43% of global oil production in 2021 came from just three countries – the US, Saudi Arabia and Russia. Together, these three countries produced more oil than the rest of the top 10 combined.
|country||Oil production 2021 (barrels per day)||% of total|
|US 🇺🇸||16.6 million||18.5%|
|Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦||11M||12.2%|
|Russian Federation 🇷🇺||10.9 million||12.2%|
|Canada 🇨🇦||5.4 million||6.0%|
|Iraq 🇮🇶||4.1 million||4.6%|
|China 🇨🇳||4.0 million||4.4%|
|United Arab Emirates 🇦🇪||3.7 million||4.1%|
|Iran 🇮🇷||3.6 million||4.0%|
|Brazil 🇧🇷||3.0 million||3.3%|
|Kuwait 🇰🇼||2.7 million||3.0%|
|Norway 🇳🇴||2.0 million||2.3%|
|Mexico 🇲🇽||1.9 million||2.1%|
|Kazakhstan 🇰🇿||1.8 million||2.0%|
|Qatar 🇶🇦||1.7 million||1.9%|
|Nigeria 🇳🇬||1.6 million||1.8%|
|Algeria 🇩🇿||1.4 million||1.5%|
|Libya 🇱🇾||1.3 million||1.4%|
|Angola 🇦🇴||1.2 million||1.3%|
|Oman 🇴🇲||0.97 million||1.1%|
|United Kingdom 🇬🇧||0.87m||1.0%|
|India 🇮🇳||0.75 million||0.8%|
|Colombia 🇨🇴||0.74 million||0.8%|
|Azerbaijan 🇦🇿||0.72 million||0.8%|
|Indonesia 🇮🇩||0.69 million||0.8%|
|Malaysia 🇲🇾||0.57 million||0.6%|
|Ecuador 🇪🇨||0.47 million||0.5%|
|Thailand 🇹🇭||0.39 million||0.4%|
|Republic of the Congo 🇨🇬||0.27 million||0.3%|
|Viet Nam 🇻🇳||0.19 million||0.2%|
|Gabon 🇬🇦||0.18 million||0.2%|
|South Sudan 🇸🇩||0.15 million||0.2%|
|Equatorial Guinea 🇬🇳||0.14M||0.2%|
|Peru 🇵🇪||0.13 million||0.1%|
|Chad 🇹🇩||0.12 million||0.1%|
|Brunei 🇧🇳||0.10 million||0.1%|
|Italy 🇮🇹||0.10 million||0.1%|
|Syria 🇸🇾||0.10 million||0.1%|
|Trinidad & Tobago 🇹🇹||0.08 million||0.1%|
|Romania 🇷🇴||0.07 million||0.1%|
|Yemen 🇾🇪||0.07 million||0.1%|
|Denmark 🇩🇰||0.07 million||0.1%|
|Sudan 🇸🇩||0.06 million||0.1%|
|Uzbekistan 🇺🇿||0.06 million||0.1%|
|Rest of the world 🌍||1.2 million||1.4%|
|In total||89.9 million||100.0%|
For the past several decades, US oil production has been on a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. After falling from its 1970 peak 11.3 million B/D, it hit an all-time low of 6.8 million B/D in 2008. However, after a trend reversal in the 2010s, the country overtook Saudi Arabia as the largest oil producer. However, as of 2021, the US remained a net importer of crude oil while exporting refined petroleum products.
Saudi Arabia and Russia each produced around 11 million B/D in 2021 and were the top two oil exporters globally. In both countries, state-owned oil companies (Saudi Aramco and Gazprom, respectively) were the most valuable oil and gas producers.
Of Europe (excluding Russia), only Norway was among the top 15 oil producers, accounting for 2.3% of world production. The lack of regional production partly explains the European Union’s dependence on Russian oil and gas, which is compounding the region’s energy crisis.
How the energy crisis is affecting oil production
After a deep slump in 2020, oil demand is picking up again and is now above pre-pandemic levels. In addition, supply constraints from sanctions on Russian oil and gas are tightening the market and supporting high oil prices.
While the impact has been felt globally, European countries have been hit hard due to their reliance on Russia’s fossil fuel exports, with some sourcing almost all of their energy fuels from Russia.
To combat the oil crisis, the rest of the world is increasing oil supplies through increased production or the release of Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPRs). US oil production is expected to increase by 1 million B/D in 2022 to a record high. At the same time, Western nations are urging OPEC members to increase production to drive down prices. However, OPEC countries are sticking to their planned production increases, with production still below the level of early 2020.
“We had a good discussion on ensuring global energy security and adequate oil supplies to support global economic growth. And that will start shortly.”– US President Joe Biden during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia
Publish the US 180 million barrels Oil from its SPR, of which 60 million barrels will contribute to the IEA’s collective release of 120 million barrels. However, with oil demand expected to hit a new all-time high in 2023, it remains to be seen whether these efforts to increase supply will be enough to contain the crisis.