Oil prices have been on a wild ride this year. Almost all experts predict global oil consumption will decline in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The stay-at-home orders and physical distancing measures have forced hundreds of millions of people to avoid unnecessary commute and travel. The pandemic effect coupled with the Russia-Saudi Arabia price war has made many people curious about which countries produce and consume the most oil. Here we take a look at the top 10 largest oil producers and consumers in the world.
According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2020 report, global oil consumption in 2019 was 98.3 million barrels per day, up 1MBD from 2018. China, India, and Indonesia were the biggest drivers of growth in oil consumption last year.
The ranking is based on data from the US Energy Information Administration for the year 2019. The EIA’s oil production and consumption data includes crude oil, petroleum liquids, and biofuels.
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Ten largest oil producers
The United States remained by far the largest oil producer with 19.51 million barrels per day. The US oil output rose 1.7 million b/d, but the global production declined by 60,000 barrels per day due to a steep fall in OPEC production. For instance, Iran’s production fell 1.3 million b/d, Saudi Arabia slashed its output by 430,000 b/d, and Venezuela reduced its output by 560,000 b/d last year.
The United States will remain the global leader in oil production, forecasts the International Energy Agency. However, the US production in 2020 is projected to fall 470,000 barrels per day due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Largest oil producers
Saudi Arabia is the distant second at 11.81 million barrels per day. It is closely followed by Russia, which produced 11.49 million barrels per day in 2019. Russia has been increasing its oil production steadily over the years, much to the annoyance of OPEC countries. It was Russia’s decision not to cut oil production that led to a steep fall in oil prices earlier this year.
The top three largest oil producers – the US, Saudi Arabia, and Russia – together account for 42% of the global output.
Canada pumped 5.5 million barrels per day, accounting for 5% of the world’s output. Most of its oil assets are in Alberta. Canada is a leading exporter of oil. The country also has massive oil reserves, 13% of the world’s total, to be precise. China is the world’s fifth largest oil producer (4.89 million barrels per day).
Venezuela has the highest crude oil reserves in the world at 304 billion barrels. Saudi Arabia is close behind with 298 billion barrels. Venezuela’s oil production has been declining for the last several years. The economic crisis, political chaos, and the US sanctions have hurt Venezuela’s oil production. Despite having the world’s largest reserves, it produced less than 1 million barrels per day last year. Experts believe much of Venezuela’s oil reserves aren’t economical to produce, at least not at the current prices.
Top 10 largest oil consumers
The United States consumes a little more oil than it produces. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the US consumed 19.96 million barrels of oil per day in 2019. It accounts for 20% of the world’s consumption, even though the US has only 4.25% of the world’s population.
China and India
China is the second largest consumer of oil. The world’s most populous country took in 13.57 million barrels per day, accounting for 14% of the global consumption. China has been the biggest driver of growth in oil consumption. The country consumed 680,000 b/d more in 2019 compared to 2018. In contrast, most developed nations witnessed a decline in oil consumption. For example, consumption in Europe was down 0.3% compared to 2018.
India occupies the third spot with 4.34 million barrels per day. The country is heavily dependent on imports from the Middle-East to meet its oil demands. Japan is another country that relies almost entirely on oil imports. Russia is the fifth largest oil consumer. It exports oil and natural gas to European countries. The top 10 largest oil consumers account for 60% of global consumption.