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Global Oil Production

25 Dec, 2019 Divesh Mishra

Oil production refers to the production of petroleum products which fuel each and every country’s economy on this planet Earth. Though, almost all major countries in the world have some quantity of petroleum production, yet very few produce as much as to be able to export to the petroleum deficient countries. A vast majority of the countries in the world are petroleum deficient including top industrial economies such as China, Germany, Japan and India.

Production of oil (generally referred to as Crude Oil, because it is later refined under a complex chemical process) is measured in Barrels per Day (BPD). A Barrel is equivalent of 159 litres.

Similarly, oil prices are popularly quoted as Brent Crude Oil Prices and are quoted in US Dollars per Barrel. Hence, USD 75 Brent price means the price of crude oil being USD 75 for a quantity of 159 litres.

Let’s have a look at the countries producing surplus (more than their domestic need) oil.

  • Currently USA is the largest producer (and consumer) of oil at 18 million barrels per day (18 m bpd)
  • Saudi Arabia at 12.4 m BPD is the country which determines the world oil prices. It is the largest exporter in the world. Its oil company ARAMCO is the world’s biggest corporate
  • Russia produces 11.4 m BPD. Its domestic demand, though is not very high and hence, it exports majority of its production to sustain its economy.
  • Canada at 5.3 m BPD occupies the fourth place
  • China, which is almost as big a consumer as USA is at the 5th place with 4.8 m BPD
  • Iraq has a production of 4.6 m BPD. It is a large exporter as its domestic demand is very low
  • Iran has a production of 4.5 m BPD and again. Depend upon its crude exports. Its exports are often subject to US sanctions which hamper exports and economy
  • UAE with 3.8 m BPD is at the 8th position and is a large exporter
  • Brazil meets its demands from its internal production which is at 3.4 m BPD
  • At 10th position is Kuwait with 2.9 m BPD


Then there are some other major petroleum producing countries such as Mexico, Venezuela, Oman, Nigeria and Qatar etc. There is an umbrella union known as Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) with 14 countries as members, with 45% of current oil production and 81% of proven oil reserves.

Position of India is very weak here. We produce only 20% of our domestic demand. Our production stands at 702 thousand BPD. India is home to the world’s largest oil refinery (Reliance Industries Limited or RIL). A small comparison: our per capita crude production is 30 Kg while that of USA is at 1800 KG, a whopping 60 times more.