LEADING COUNTRIES IN OIL RESERVES AND PRODUCTION

The oil industry is one of the most important industries in the world. As in other financial markets, the most significant factor shaping the price of oil is the relationship between supply and demand. Demand factors include the value of the U.S. dollar, the degree of dependence on oil, and global economic indicators.

Supply factors include the geopolitical situation on the planet, weather conditions, and most importantly production decisions made by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). OPEC meets regularly to set production quotas for member countries to regulate oil supplies and control the price of oil.

Important. The top ten oil producers supply 68% of the world market with more than 80 million barrels per day. The two most popular oil grades in the world are Brent Crude and West Texas Intermediate (WTI).

Next, let's highlight the ranking of the top 10 countries for confirmed oil reserves in 2021, based on current data from the U.S. Federal Energy Information Agency.

THE WORLD'S TOP 10 COUNTRIES IN TERMS OF OIL RESERVES

1. VENEZUELA (302,809 million barrels)

Venezuela

Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world - more than 300 billion barrels. In 2011, the country surpassed Saudi Arabia to lead the list of nations with the largest oil reserves. However, due to political unrest in the country over the past few years, the development of oil fields is very unstable.

2. SAUDI ARABIA (267,026 million barrels)

Saudi Arabia

Although the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has had the world's largest oil reserves for several decades, in January 2016 the country moved into second place, losing first place to Venezuela. Nevertheless, should its exploration activities increase, the state is certain to regain the leading position in the future.

3. CANADA (167,896 mn barrels)

Canada

With proven oil reserves of 168 billion barrels Canada is number three on the list of the world's oil leaders. Oil sands in the province of Alberta account for more than 95% of the country's reserves. The province also has enormous reserves of conventional oil, much of which is exported to the United States. Canada as a whole is a very developed country with a diversified economy.

4. IRAN (155,600 mln barrels)

Iran

International sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program have taken a heavy toll on the country's energy sector, including a serious blow to the oil industry. Over the past several decades, stable oil production has been hampered by political unrest, strained relations with Iraq and a lack of large-scale investment, among other things.

5. IRAQ (145,019 million barrels)

Iraq

With 145 billion barrels of "black gold" Iraq is at the bottom of the world's top 5 countries in terms of oil reserves. Sanctions, a long war and an unstable political situation in general have severely damaged the country's oil infrastructure. Nevertheless, Iraq now accounts for about 9% of the world's reserves. Crude oil exports have doubled since 2010, from 2 million bpd to 4 million bpd.

6. KUWAIT (104,000 million barrels)

Kuwait

Despite its small size, Kuwait holds 8% of the world's oil reserves and is the third largest oil producer among OPEC members. About 70% of its reserves are in the Burgan field. Oil and gas production accounts for more than half of GDP and over 90% of export revenues. Nevertheless, oil sales place Kuwait among the top 10 richest countries in the world.

7. UAE (98,630 million barrels)

UAE

The United Arab Emirates is a very beautiful and rich country with large oil reserves, the revenues from the sale of which form about 30% of GDP. Unlike many other states in the region, the UAE has actively developed other sectors of the economy, including tourism and the financial sector, making the country less dependent on fluctuations in world oil prices.

8. RUSSIA (80,000 million barrels)

Russia

Russia has approximately 80 billion barrels of oil reserves, most of which are located on the Siberian plains. Due to intensive exploration in Arctic waters and ice, the country is expected to increase its oil reserves in the coming years. As of June 2020, Russia was the fifth largest consumer of oil in the world (about 3.31 million barrels per day).

9. LIBYA (48,363 million barrels)

Libya

Libya has the largest oil reserve on the African continent. However, much of the region, which has the potential to discover new oil reserves, remains unexplored in the country. Exploration activities in Libya are hampered by the difficult political situation in the country. Libya's economy loses billions of dollars due to the regular suspension of oil production.

10. USA (47,053 million barrels)

USA

Rounding out the top 10 countries in terms of oil reserves is the United States. As of 2017, it is the largest oil-producing state in the world. Oil is produced in 32 states and in U.S. coastal waters, most of which are drilled in Texas (41%). The country is also the largest consumer of oil. In 2019, 7.47 billion barrels of "black gold" were used.

TOP 10 COUNTRIES BY OIL PRODUCTION (2020)*

Country Millions of barrels per day
1. U.S. 19.51
2. Saudi Arabia 11.81
3. Russia 11.49
4. Canada 5.50
5. China 4.89
6. Iraq 4.74
7. United Arab Emirates (UAE) 4.01
8. Brazil 3.67
9. Iran 3.19
10. Kuwait 2.94

Note. *The table shows the number of barrels of oil produced daily by country as of June 25, 2020. Data from the U.S. Federal Energy Information Agency.

TOP 10 COUNTRIES BY OIL PRODUCTION (2019)*

Country Barrels per day
1. U.S. 15,043,000
2. Saudi Arabia 12,000,000
3. Russia 10,800,000
4. Iraq 4,451,516
5. Iran 3,990,956
6. China 3,980,650
7. Canada 3,662,694
8. United Arab Emirates (UAE) 3,106,077
9. Kuwait 2,923,825
10. Brazil 22,515,459

Note. *The table shows the number of barrels of oil produced daily by country for 2019. Data from the U.S. Federal Energy Information Agency.

Oil is very widely used as a fuel for transportation, electricity production, some lubricants, fertilizers, plastics, and pharmaceuticals. Since the advent of the oil industry in the mid-nineteenth century, this energy source has provoked wars and directly influenced world geopolitics.

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