Where are the World’s Top Oil Reserves?

Oil storage tanks

Which country has the most oil reserves? The answer to this question might surprise you.

Oil Production Around the World

About 100 countries around the world produce oil. However, according recent numbers from the E.I.A., five countries are responsible for half of the world’s output: the U.S., Russia, Saudia Arabia, Iraq, and Canada.

In 2018, these countries made up 50% of the world’s production:

  • United States—13.2%
  • Russia—13.0%
  • Saudi Arabia—12.6%
  • Iraq—5.6%
  • Canada—5.2%

Which Country Has the Most Oil Reserves?

While the U.S. produces the most oil globally, it is not the source of the biggest reserves. That honor goes to a country that is not actuallyin the top five producer group: Venezuela.

In fact, the U.S. is tenth on that list:

  1. *Venezuela: 300.9 Gbbl
  2. *Saudi Arabia: 266.5 Gbbl
  3. Canada: 169.7 Gbbl
  4. *Iran: 158.4 Gbbl
  5. *Iraq: 142.5 Gbbl
  6. *Kuwait: 101.5 Gbbl
  7. UAE: 97.8 Gbbl
  8. Russia: 80 Gbbl
  9. *Libya: 48.4 Gbbl
  10. U.S.: 36.5 Gbbl

*Members of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries).

The key factor in U.S. production dominance is its ability to adapt technology and build infrastructure necessary to produce that energy efficiently. So while countries like Venezuela and Kuwait have abundant reserves, the infrastructure to get to this oil is not as readily available as it is in the top producing countries.

Where is U.S. Crude Oil Produced?

Thirty-two states in the U.S. produce crude oil. However, five states are responsible for most of this domestic production: Texas, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Alaska.

In 2018, these states made up 68% of total U.S. oil production:

  • Texas—40.5%
  • North Dakota—11.5%
  • New Mexico—6.3%
  • Oklahoma—5.0%
  • Alaska—4.5%

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