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Countries with the most oil and who they're selling it to

  • Countries with the most oil and who they're selling it to

    With global oil demand rising by 1.3% in 2018, the demand for oil is higher than it has ever been before. Besides being used in fuel distillation, crude oil is also an essential manufacturing component used to make plastics, machine lubricants, packing wax, pharmaceuticals, synthetic fabric, and industrial chemicals such as sulfuric acid, asphalt, paraffin.

    While alternative refinement methods like hydraulic fracturing and bitumen extraction have significantly extended the world's oil supply, oil is so essential that the theoretical threat of running out haunts conversations about global oil usage.

    To understand how much oil the world produces and determine countries with the world's largest reserves, Stacker examined the most recent data on proven crude oil reserves and crude oil production from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Among the criteria examined are the volume of proven crude oil reserves, daily production in barrels per day, and nations producers primarily sell to. This review focuses only on proven or independently documented oil reserves, and additional information on petroleum exports came from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Collective Learning Group.

    For some nations, such as Syria, currently in a state of war or under international sanctions, Stacker limited observations to facts that are known to the international community. The amount of crude oil reported may not reflect oil that was mined but burned due to an inability to sell or reserves destroyed by war or terrorism. Oil reserves are an estimate based on the amount of crude oil located in a country and the country's ability to extract under their current technological capability.

    Crude oil reserve data for all countries except for the U.S. are accurate as of 2019. The most recent crude oil reserve data for the U.S. are from 2018. Petroleum exports data for all countries are accurate as of 2017. Countries included in this list are ranked by volume of proven oil reserves.

    Keep reading to find out the controversial nation that came in as #1 and their surprising best customer.

    You may also like: Countries most dependent on oil

  • #30. Syria

    - Proven crude oil reserves (2019): 2.5 billion barrels
    - Crude oil production (2018): 27,935 barrels/day

    - Crude oil exports by destination (2017): data not available

    The United States pullout of forces from war-struck Syria may expose the country's eastern oil fields to Syrian government control. The fields that were controlled by American armed forces included the Conoco natural gas facility—the largest capacity gas field in pre-war Syria— and Syria's largest oil field, the Al-Omar oil field. This could translate into Russia taking a controlling interest in Syria's oil production.

  • #29. Yemen

    - Proven crude oil reserves (2019): 3 billion barrels
    - Crude oil production (2018): 61,293 barrels/day

    - Crude oil exports by destination (2017):
    --- #1. China: 89%
    --- #2. India: 10%
    --- #3. United States: 1%

    A proxy war between Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Iranian-supported Houthi rebels has deeply impacted the oil output of the Middle East's poorest country. With oil production shut down in 2015 due to the war, Yemen has yet to return to pre-war production levels. However, foreign investments—particularly from Austria—is helping the nation recover energy-wise.

  • #28. Indonesia

    - Proven crude oil reserves (2019): 3.2 billion barrels
    - Crude oil production (2018): 913,611 barrels/day

    - Crude oil exports by destination (2017):
    --- #1. Thailand: 18%
    --- #2. United States: 13%
    --- #3. Japan: 13%

    Regulatory uncertainty following the passage of its 2001 oil and gas laws have led to a slump in oil production in Indonesia. Reforms to production regulations and pressure for the government to take over domestic assets from foreign oil companies have led many to hope for a resurgence in oil production. Foreign intervention in Indonesia's current energy production is seen as a hindrance to domestic energy growth.

  • #27. Egypt

    - Proven crude oil reserves (2019): 3.3 billion barrels
    - Crude oil production (2018): 667,796 barrels/day

    - Crude oil exports by destination (2017):
    --- #1. China: 16%
    --- #2. Germany: 14%
    --- #3. India: 13%

    One of the few non-OPEC oil producers in the Middle East, Egypt controls the sixth-largest oil reserve in Africa. A lack of foreign investors, however, has left Egypt's oil potential underdeveloped. The country is currently seeking international developers for Red Sea oil development and is hoping to expand exports to Europe.

  • #26. Malaysia

    - Proven crude oil reserves (2019): 3.6 billion barrels
    - Crude oil production (2018): 749,516 barrels/day

    - Crude oil exports by destination (2017):
    --- #1. Australia: 23%
    --- #2. Thailand: 17%
    --- #3. India: 16%

    The Malaysian oil industry is wholly owned and controlled by PETRONAS—the Petroliam Nasional Berhad, a wholly owned asset of the Government of Malaysia that ranks among the top-10 most profitable companies in the world. Malaysia is dependent on PETRONAS for half of its government budget. PETRONAS has recently developed a new processing facility called RAPID, which is set to sell fuel to Indonesia.

  • #25. Vietnam

    - Proven crude oil reserves (2019): 4.4 billion barrels
    - Crude oil production (2018): 253,720 barrels/day

    - Crude oil exports by destination (2017):
    --- #1. China: 41%
    --- #2. Japan: 14%
    --- #3. Australia: 12%

    Vietnam has a very complicated relationship with its neighbor China. Despite China's support of Vietnam during the Vietnam War, the 1979 Chinese invasion of Vietnam and current geopolitical challenges have set Vietnam and China up as regional energy rivals. China has largely curtailed Vietnam's offshore energy development, forcing Vietnam to develop its renewable energy infrastructure. However, the U.S.-China trade war has companies looking to Vietnam as an alternative.

  • #24. India

    - Proven crude oil reserves (2019): 4.4 billion barrels
    - Crude oil production (2018): 1 million barrels/day

    - Crude oil exports by destination (2017):
    --- #1. United States: 87%
    --- #2. South Africa: 13%

    India hit a record low level of oil production in March, the lowest level of production for the country in nine years. With an oil dependence level of 83.8%, the decline in production from the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's oil fields have led the nation to develop a 10-year plan to reduce oil dependency.

  • #23. Sudan

    - Proven crude oil reserves (2019): 5 billion barrels
    - Crude oil production (2018): 97,981 barrels/day

    - Crude oil exports by destination (2017):
    --- #1. India: 43%
    --- #2. China: 42%
    --- #3. Indonesia: 11%

    Currently, the Sudanese oil industry is in a fight with its neighbors. In the Red Sea, the Sudanese government is contending that Egypt is mining oil in its territory. This is complicating the oil mining situation in Sudan, as most of Sudan's oil production areas are in the south in reserves shared with South Sudan. Sudan is thought to have reached peak oil—where oil production reaches its maximum level and starts to decline—in 2008, although revenue levels have been sustained at current levels, with another decade of consistent production predicted.

  • #22. Oman

    - Proven crude oil reserves (2019): 5.4 billion barrels
    - Crude oil production (2018): 988,213 barrels/day

    - Crude oil exports by destination (2017):
    --- #1. China: 82%
    --- #2. India: 10%
    --- #3. Japan: 4%

    Oman's oil production is largely controlled by Petroleum Development Oman, a privately held company owned by the Oman government, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, and Partex. A significant player in international oil development, Oman invests heavily in foreign oil infrastructure, such as a refinery project in Sri Lanka. This has given Oman a significant role in OPEC and international oil politics.

  • #21. Azerbaijan

    - Proven crude oil reserves (2019): 7 billion barrels
    - Crude oil production (2018): 808,482 barrels/day

    - Crude oil exports by destination (2017):
    --- #1. Italy: 40%
    --- #2. Canada: 7%
    --- #3. Czech Republic: 7%

    One of the traditional birthplaces of the petroleum industry, some of the oldest modern oilfields were mined in Azerbaijan by Imperial Russia. It's not surprising the nation has reached peak oil some time ago and will be running out soon—likely, in 30 years. As Azerbaijan's economy has been tied to oil for centuries, running out of oil will likely cause hardship for the nation.

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