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Oil and Gasoline Fast Facts


Here’s a look at crude oil reserves and production around the world.


Crude oil is a form of liquid petroleum, extracted from rock formations and used for fuel and other purposes.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) produce about 39% of the world’s crude oil, and possess almost 79.4% of the world’s total proven crude oil reserves, according to OPEC and US Energy Information Administration data.

The 13 countries/members of OPEC: Algeria, Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

The following countries have the world’s largest reserves of crude oil, according to the US Energy Information Administration:

Venezuela – 303 billion barrels (as of 2020)

Saudi Arabia – 266 billion barrels (as of 2017)

Canada – 167 billion barrels (non OPEC country, as of 2019)

Iran – 157 billion barrels (as of 2018)

Iraq – 149 billion barrels (as of 2017)

Kuwait – 102 billion barrels (as of 2016)

United Arab Emirates – 98 billion barrels (as of 2020)

Russia – 80 billion barrels (non OPEC country, as of 2017)

Libya – 48 billion barrels (as of 2014)

Nigeria – 37 billion barrels (as of 2019)

Production and Consumption in the US

In 2019, the United States produced about 12.248 million barrels of crude oil per day.

The United States leads the world in total petroleum production, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Russia in 2019.

The United States consumed an average of 20,511 barrels of petroleum products per day in 2018.

The United States is the world’s largest consumer of petroleum products.

In 2019, about 3.3% of the petroleum used in the United States was imported. About 49% of gross petroleum imports comes from Canada.

US dependence on imported oil peaked in 2005.


July 11, 2008 – Oil prices hit a record high of $147.27 a barrel before settling at $145.08 at the end of the day.

September 22, 2008 – Oil prices experience the biggest one-day increase ever, settling up $16.37 to $120.92 a barrel.


1973-1974 – Due to US support of Israel in the Arab-Israeli conflict, the members of OPEC decide to raise the cost of oil from $3/barrel to around $12/barrel.

October 1973 – OPEC issues an embargo that halts exports of oil to the United States. Americans experience long lines at gas stations and gasoline shortages. Gasoline prices go from 36 cents a gallon in 1972 to over 50 cents a gallon in 1973.

March 18, 1974 – At an OPEC meeting, seven members lift the ban on exports to United States. The countries are Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt and Abu Dhabi. Libya and Syria refuse to drop the ban and Iraq boycotts the talks.

December 31, 1974 – Libya lifts its 14-month-old oil embargo against the United States.

December 22, 1975 – US President Gerald Ford establishes the Strategic Petroleum Reserve when he signs into law the “Energy Policy and Conservation Act.” The law is created in response to the oil embargo of 1973-1974 and the severe effect it had on the economy. It mandates that the country maintain a stockpile of one million barrels of petroleum, which is the largest emergency supply in the world.

2013 – The United States imports less foreign oil than it produces for the first time in nearly two decades.

Article Topic Follows: National-World

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