Oil is one of the most important economic and strategic resources in the world. The extraction of oil plays a major role in many national economies, although some nations do produce much more than others. In fact, the world’s five biggest oil producers account for almost half of the world’s total oil production. There is a wide range of output even within that group, but they all play a vital role in the industry.
American Output Remains High
The United States of America produces nearly one fifth of the world’s oil supply. It has been the single largest oil producer in the world for the past six years. The country’s oil production increased over the course of the previous year, so it stands an excellent chance of remaining the largest oil producer in the future.
Saudi Oil Dominates OPEC
Saudi Arabia takes second place with roughly 12% of the world’s oil production. The country also has the unique honor of being the only member of OPEC to earn a place in the top five. It was the top producer until 2013, when American production overtook it. Saudi Arabia remains a net exporter of oil and gets roughly 90% of its export earnings from the industry. That is why the Saudi Arabian government keeps a careful eye on the oil industry.
Russian Production Slipped, but Remains Significant
Russia produces slightly less oil than Saudi Arabia, with most of that production coming from Siberia. It used to be the world’s second largest producer of oil, but the country’s oil output has decreased in recent years. It remains a major player in the industry in spite of that decrease, and is likely to stay that way in the near future.
Canada Expects Growth
Canadian oil production only comes to 5% of the world’s total output, but it leads the world in growth potential. The country has plenty of oil sands available. While the cost of extracting that oil is high, it is getting cheaper as the extraction technology improves. Those sands may become very important in the coming years.
Chinese Production and Consumption Are Massive
China likewise produces roughly 5% of the world’s oil, but many of the country’s older oil fields are starting to run dry. Production is dropping in some areas, but Chinese oil producers are turning to oil recovery technology to help make up for the loss.
China is also unusual among the world’s leading oil producers because it is a net importer. While it does produce plenty of oil, the country’s large population ensures that it consumes even more. That combination of high output and higher demand ensures that China remains an important player in the field.