Recent news has reminded everyone of the importance of oil in modern politics. Have it be the court's decision to block efforts to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean, speculation that Venezuela's oil industry can solve its problems or U.S. oil production dropping for the first time in six months after a spree that saw record gains in oil prices, there's no denying that oil drives the news and society as a whole.
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 and 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.
Click ahead to find out the controversial nation that came in as No. 1 and their surprising best customer.
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