They possess the most important resource here in our planet. This resource is what makes countries run and their industries hum. Nations have gone to war because of this. This precious resource is the black gold called oil.
Having this resource is practically the ticket to industrialization and modernization. Nations who have been blessed with so much of this resource have seen their countries grow by leaps and bounds, as the abundant profits one can derive from oil can be translated into massive infrastructure projects and extensive welfare benefits.
These are the top ten oil producing countries in the world today:
1. Saudi Arabia – 11.75 million barrels per day
The Middle Eastern kingdom produces 13.24 percent of all the oil in the world, and they will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. They still have around 263 billion barrels in proven reserves, the second biggest in the world after Venezuela’s oil stock.
2. United States – 10.59 million barrels per day
They are the second largest oil producer with an 11.94 percent share in total production, but the United States is also one of the biggest consumers of the resource. Thus, despite its huge output and proven reserves amounting to nearly 21 billion barrels, the country still needs to import from other oil producing nations. Government agencies believe that technically recoverable reserves can actually be as much as 219 billion barrels. The US has also been in the forefront of research for non-conventional sources, and the discovery of oil from shale and tar sands means that they may be sitting on a total of 1.442 trillion barrels.
3. Russia – 10.3 million barrels per day
With an 11.64 percent share of world oil production, Russia is also considered a major oil producer. Their proven reserves stand at 60 billion barrels, meaning they have yet to fully explore the possibility of oil in Eastern Siberia. Preliminary estimates show that as much as 4.7 billion barrels can be drilled in that area. Russia’s tip is on the Arctic, which is expected to yield 100 billion tons of gas and oil.
4. China – 4.19 billion barrels per day
China used to import all its oil up until the late 1950s, before the discovery of huge reserves in the northeastern part of the country. Their share in world production is at 4.7 percent, but like the United States, China is a huge oil consumer. The demand for the resource within the country is so great that not even a ramped-up production process is enough to satisfy the requirement. Their proven reserves stand at around 20.35 billion barrels.
5. Iran – 4.13 million barrels per day
Iran produces 4.6 percent of the world’s oil output, but none of it will go to the United States as a result of the strain in the relations of the two countries. Proven reserves are at 137 billion barrels, comprising 10 percent of conventional oil reserves. Iran is the second largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, after Saudi Arabia. Even if they start to sit pretty and not look for anymore oil, their current level would be enough to last them 90 more years.
6. Canada – 3.92 million barrels per day
Canada owns 4.4 percent of the world’s oil production, but that number may grow once their unconventional sources start to yield productively. Oil has been discovered in their sands, but the technology to efficiently convert the resource is still being developed. Once it becomes economically viable, it is estimated that they may have as much as 179 billion barrels in reserves, the third largest after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. most of its oil is located in the province of Alberta.
7. United Arab Emirates – 3.23 million barrels per day
The different emirates have been producing oil amounting to 3.6 percent of the world’s production. They still have reserves of as much as 98 billion barrels. Most of the oil is in Abu Dhabi with 92 billion barrels. Dubai has 4 billion barrels, while Sharjah has around 1.5 billion barrels. The UAE has been using their resource judiciously, with plans to increase production to about 5 million barrels per day two years from now. At that rate, the country would have enough oil to produce for the next 93 years.
8. Mexico – 2.95 million barrels per day
Mexico has 3.3 percent of the world’s production of oil. Of the 2.95 million barrels they produce each day, more than a third are exported to the United States. The revenues from their oil trade account for 10 percent of all their export earnings, which underscore the importance of the industry to the nation. There have been new oil fields that have been discovered, which would hopefully add to the country’s proven reserves of 10.42 billion barrels. Unfortunately, a lot of their oil fields are in permanent decline, and this was highlighted in 2005 when production went down by about 500 thousand barrels per day. It is feared that the new fields being discovered or coming online will not be enough to counter the huge drop in production caused by the closure of the old oil fields.
9. Brazil – 2.8 million barrels per day
Brazil has 3.15 percent of the world’s oil production, thanks mainly to the Lula oil field, which is the largest oil discovery in the Western Hemisphere in the last 30 years. It is located in the Santos Basin, which is 250 kilometers off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. Optimistic estimates put the figure at around 8 billion barrels of extractable oil. The country’s proven reserves are already at 12.86 billion barrels, and this is expected to increase with the discovery of the Jupiter oil field, which is located around 37 kilometers east of Lula. Jupiter is expected to yield a similar number as that of Lula.
10. Kuwait – 2.75 million barrels per day
Oil was discovered in Kuwait in 1938, and it has not stopped flowing since then. They own a 3.1 percent share of all oil production, and they still have a proven reserve level of 104 billion barrels.