Crude oil is an important global commodity, used transport, heating, and industry (Credit: ded pix to/Shutterstock)
The world’s largest oil-producing countries play a significant role on the world stage, as gatekeepers of a commodity that has driven industrialization and for which there is a consistently high level of global demand.
According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2020, more than 95 million barrels per day (BPD) were produced during 2019 – roughly the same level as in 2018 and a 17% increase compared to ten years earlier.
There are an estimated 1.73 trillion barrels of proved global oil reserves, and three powerful nations dominate the world’s production of this fuel that has many uses, including transport, industry, and heating as well as plastics and chemical manufacturing.
Despite growing international momentum behind policies to shift away from oil as an energy source in response to concerns about climate change, it remains, for now, a significant ingredient of the world fuel supply.
Many of the countries on this list are members of the Opec group of oil-exporting countries, an organization that has kept tight control over global oil production since it was established in 1960 as a means to support oil prices and ensure stable revenues for its membership.
Here, NS Energy profiles the world’s top ten largest oil-producing countries, based on their output measured in 2019.
Top ten largest oil-producing countries in 2019
1. United States – 17 million barrels per day
The US became the world’s biggest oil producer in 2017, overtaking Saudi Arabia to claim the top spot.
Production edged just above 17 million BPD in 2019, giving the US an 18% share of the entire global output.
The country’s rise has been underpinned by the shale fracking revolution of the past decade, through which new technologies and drilling techniques have provided access to unconventional resources that were previously not commercially viable to extract.
In 2019, about 69% of total US crude oil production came from five states. They were Texas, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Colorado.
2. Saudi Arabia – 11.8 million barrels per day
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia occupies second place on this list of top oil-producing countries, with a national output of around 11.8 million BPD in 2019 – 12.4% of the global total.
The country is the world’s biggest oil exporter and is the de facto leader of the Opec gr