Some interesting oil industry statistics - largest ...

1997-2009 Gibson Consulting

Perspective US Gov't
Index US imports - from where? US imports - volume US exports Largest exporters Largest importers Iraq By company
Costs Largest refiners US Capacity Capacity by state Product imports Market share Transportation
Leading countries US Production Leading US States Largest world oil fields Largest US oil fields Largest world gas fields US Production Peak Production Peak Number of wells US - Wells drilled/producing US - shut-in wells
How many gallons? How much gasoline? How much plastic? Production costs Finding costs US Gov't profits Uses of oil
US - oil US - gasoline World Changes By sector US vs China
World US US - Bakken US - shut-in wells Peak Oil Drill Baby Drill Largest world oil fields Largest US oil fields Largest world gas fields
Largest that don't use imported oil Profits Seven Sisters
Who sets the price? Price history Factors Why so high? Gasoline price breakdown Historic change in pricing basis
How much in a barrel? Retailer Profits No. of stations US Price breakdown Sales per station No Middle East oil Price in other countries
Producers Importers Companies Oil Fields Gas Fields Reserves Profits
Exports to Japan ANWR
Drill Baby Drill Salvation in Canada? US - Bakken Essay
Made of dinosaurs? Why so much in the Mid East? Who owns it? Abiotic oil
Miscellaneous Myths Alternatives
Finding costs Hot areas Bakken Time to bring onstream
How many gallons in a barrel? How much gasoline from a barrel? Where to buy gas not from Mid East? Who sets the price of oil? Why does Alaska export oil to Japan?

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20 largest oil producers, in million barrels per day:
(source: mostly Oil & Gas Journal, World Oil, and EIA)

20 largest oil producers

and 2004 rank
Estimated Reserves
(billion barrels, 2006)
2004 Production
Includes Crude Oil, NGL,
Condensate, Refinery Gain
1. Saudi Arabia267 billion bbl 10.4 mb/d
2. Russia609.3 mb/d
3. USA21 8.7 mb/d
Crude oil = <5.2 mb/d
4. Iran1324.1 mb/d
5. Mexico133.8 mb/d
6. China183.6 mb/d
7. Norway83.2 mb/d
8. Canada179
(includes tar sands)
3.1 mb/d
9. Venezuela792.9 mb/d
10. United Arab Emirates982.8 mb/d
11. Kuwait104
(some sources say 48 billion -
the difference is 5% of world reserves)
2.5 mb/d
12. Nigeria362.5 mb/d
13. United Kingdom42.1 mb/d
14. Iraq1152.0 mb/d
15. Other FSU
Mostly Kazakhstan + Azerbaijan
471.9 mb/d
16. Algeria121.7 mb/d
17. Brazil111.5 mb/d
18. Libya391.5 mb/d
19. Indonesia41.1 mb/d
20. Angola60.9 mb/d

In 1996, the USA was the world's leading producer, with about 7.5 million barrels per day.
Note: Former Soviet Union production has dropped from the highest in the world, at around 12 million b/d in the late 1980s, but it has stabilized since 1993 and began to increase significantly by 1998. "Other Former Soviet Union" production is mostly Kazakstan and Azerbaijan.
The 20 countries on this list produce about 57 million b/d, about 87% of world production. OPEC countries account for about 24 million b/d, or 40% of world production.
Are you surprised to see Norway so high on this list? There are very few sedimentary rocks onshore Norway. All of this production comes from offshore, in the North Sea.
For 2005, Oman, Egypt, and Colombia dropped out of the top 20, replaced by "other FSU", Algeria, and Angola.

The following table is based on various sources and is as accurate as I could make it. It represents CUMULATIVE production, not current production, PLUS estimated reserves, so it is a measure of all the recoverable oil that was/is contained in the fields. Some, such as East Texas and most of the California fields, have been producing since the 1930s and are significantly depleted. Most (more than 10 billion barrels) of Prudhoe Bay's oil has been produced. SEE ALSO this EIA PDF which ranks oil and gas fields by different criteria. Other compilations will rank fields differently - for example, according to the California Department of Conservation, Midway-Sunset Field will have an ultimate recoverable resource of about 3.5 billion barrels, moving it to #3, while Belridge South may have 1.9 billion barrels, moving it onto the list below. [Thanks to Mr. Greg Hodson for those data, indicated below in brackets. Click here to go to the PDF of these data; go to page 4.] I'm unable to evaluate the various estimators, so use this list as a starting point.

12 largest oil fields in the US

Field, StateCumulative Production
+ Est. Reserves
1. Prudhoe Bay, Alaska13+ billion barrels
2. East Texas5.1-6.0 billion barrels
3. Wilmington, California2.8 billion barrels [or up to 3.0]
4. Midway-Sunset, California2.8 billion barrels [or up to 3.5]
5. Kuparuk River, Alaska2.6 billion barrels
6. Thunder Horse, Gulf of Mexico1.5-2.0 billion barrels
7. Kern River, California1.95 billion barrels [or up to 2.5]
8. Yates, West Texas1.95 billion barrels
9. Belridge South, California1.9 billion barrels
10. Wasson, West Texas1.8 billion barrels
11. Elk Hills, California1.5 billion barrels [or 1.3]
12. Panhandle, Texas1.4 billion barrels

The largest oil field in the world (Ghawar in Saudi Arabia) contains an estimated ultimate recoverable 75-85 billion barrels of oil, or nearly 6 times Prudhoe Bay, in Upper Jurassic shallow-water carbonates in a broad anticline.

Chevron is working with Kazakhstan and others to develop the huge Tengiz field near the Caspian Sea (estimates run from 15 to 26 billion barrels recoverable, from what amounts to an oil-filled paleo-atoll, or reef) with a goal of producing about 700,000 barrels per day from this one field -- equal to more than 10% of the oil production of the entire United States.

Numbers in the following table are mostly ranges for estimated ultimate recoverable reserves, NOT oil remaining. Sometimes you see larger numbers that represent original oil in place (OOIP) -- all of which cannot be produced. Some of the fields in this list are essentially completely depleted (e.g., Romashkino and Prudhoe Bay). "In decline" in the table means the field has passed its peak by most reliable sources I found. Others are uncertain, but except for Tengiz and Kashagan all these fields are pretty old and have had a large proportion of their oil produced. Reserve estimates and the methods to obtain them are sometimes controversial or tainted by political considerations, and are sometimes re-stated with dramatic changes - so don't believe everything you see here (or anywhere else). SEE ALSO this PDF from Matthew Simmons, which includes a list of giant fields ranked by current production rather than total size. Simmons indicates that, in addition to the "in decline" fields listed below, Ghawar, Kirkuk, Rumailia, Abqaiq, Safaniya, Marun, Gachsaran, and Berri, at least, are also past their peaks and in decline - some, such as Gachsaran (discovered in the 1920s) in severe decline.

24 largest oil fields
in the World

Field, CountrySize estimate
1. Ghawar, Saudi Arabia
Saudi fields overall are in decline at 2% to 8% a year. Source
75-83 billion barrels
2. Burgan, Kuwait in decline66-72 billion barrels
2a. Cantarell, Mexico in decline
(often listed as a large complex
of multiple smaller fields)
35 billion barrels OOIP
18 billion recoverable
3. Bolivar Coastal, Venezuela30-32 billion barrels
4. Safaniya-Khafji, Saudi Arabia/Neutral Zone30 billion barrels
5. Rumailia, Iraq20 billion barrels
6. Tengiz, Kazakhstan significant production to come15-26 billion barrels
7. Ahwaz, Iran in decline17 billion barrels
8. Kirkuk, Iraq16 billion barrels
9. Marun, Iran16 billion barrels
9a. Daqing, China in decline16 billion barrels
10. Gachsaran, Iran15 billion barrels
11. Aghajari, Iran14 billion barrels
12. Samotlor, West Siberia, Russia in decline14-16 billion barrels
13.Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, USA in decline13 billion barrels
13a. Kashagan, Kazakhstan significant production to come13 billion barrels
14. Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia12 billion barrels
15. Romashkino, Volga-Ural, Russia in decline12-14 billion barrels
16. Chicontepec, Mexico12 billion barrels
17. Berri, Saudi Arabia12 billion barrels
18. Zakum, Abu Dhabi, UAE12 billion barrels
19. Manifa, Saudi Arabia11 billion barrels
20. Faroozan-Marjan, Saudi Arabia/Iran10 billion barrels
21. Marlim, Campos, Brazil in decline10-14 billion barrels

Compiled by Dick Gibson, Gibson Consulting, 301 N. Crystal St., Butte, MT 59701

Want to know more?
Gibson Consulting recommends: Read The Prize, by Daniel Yergin.

1997-2009 Gibson Consulting
Background image of drilling well in Utah in 1981 2000 by Dick Gibson