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The Largest Producers of Crude Oil (1965-2017)

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The global production of oil is driven by a host of complex factors, ranging from resource scarcity to a country’s access to the latest technological breakthroughs.

As these factors play out, the oil production landscape can dramatically change.

Countries can secure energy independence and global influence by rising up the rankings – or they can fall off the map completely, becoming a footnote on the global stage.

Animation: The Changing Oil Landscape

Today’s animation shows you how the oil landscape has changed, in terms of production by country, in less than a minute of time.

Data here comes from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2018, which chronicles oil production by country all the way from 1965-2017.

The animation starts in 1965 during the height of the Cold War – a time when it was becoming incredibly evident that the ability to produce oil self-sufficiently would be a crucial advantage for any type of global superpower.

RankCountryOil production (bpd) in 1965
#1🇺🇸 United States9.0 million
#2☭ USSR4.9 million
#3🇻🇪 Venezuela3.5 million
#4🇰🇼 Kuwait2.4 million
#5🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia2.2 million
#6🇮🇷 Iran1.9 million
#7🇮🇶 Iraq1.3 million
#8🇱🇾 Libya1.2 million
#9🇨🇦 Canada0.9 million
#10🇩🇿 Algeria0.6 million

During this stretch of time, the United States was the undeniable leader in oil production, producing an average of 9.0 million barrels per day.

Put another way, U.S. oil production nearly double that of the entire USSR, or four times as much as the largest Arab producer (Kuwait), making this period a heyday of U.S. energy dominance.

Modern Production Figures

According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018, here is how oil production has shaped up based on more recent data.

RankCountryOil production (bpd) in 2017
#1🇺🇸 United States13.1 million
#2🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia12.0 million
#3🇷🇺 Russian Federation11.3 million
#4🇮🇷 Iran5.0 million
#5🇨🇦 Canada4.8 million
#6🇮🇶 Iraq4.5 million
#7🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates3.9 million
#8🇨🇳 China3.8 million
#9🇰🇼 Kuwait3.0 million
#10🇧🇷 Brazil2.7 million

As you can see, there are essentially three superpowers that produce over 10 million barrels of oil per day: United States (13.1 million), Saudi Arabia (12.0 million), and Russia (11.3 million).

Together, these three countries combine for 39.1% of global oil production, and about 24.9% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

After this group, there is a significant dropoff: Iran (5.0 million bpd), Canada (4.8 million bpd) and Iraq (4.5 million bpd) each have a 5% share of global production, while the U.A.E. and China are next on the list.

In total, the top 10 producers of crude oil combine for roughly 70% of the global total – meaning the world’s other 183 countries added together produce just 30% of the world’s total crude.

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Energy

Charted: Global Uranium Reserves, by Country

We visualize the distribution of the world’s uranium reserves by country, with 3 countries accounting for more than half of total reserves.

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A cropped chart visualizing the distribution of the global uranium reserves, by country.

Charted: Global Uranium Reserves, by Country

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

There can be a tendency to believe that uranium deposits are scarce from the critical role it plays in generating nuclear energy, along with all the costs and consequences related to the field.

But uranium is actually fairly plentiful: it’s more abundant than gold and silver, for example, and about as present as tin in the Earth’s crust.

We visualize the distribution of the world’s uranium resources by country, as of 2021. Figures come from the World Nuclear Association, last updated on August 2023.

Ranked: Uranium Reserves By Country (2021)

Australia, Kazakhstan, and Canada have the largest shares of available uranium resources—accounting for more than 50% of total global reserves.

But within these three, Australia is the clear standout, with more than 1.7 million tonnes of uranium discovered (28% of the world’s reserves) currently. Its Olympic Dam mine, located about 600 kilometers north of Adelaide, is the the largest single deposit of uranium in the world—and also, interestingly, the fourth largest copper deposit.

Despite this, Australia is only the fourth biggest uranium producer currently, and ranks fifth for all-time uranium production.

CountryShare of Global
Reserves
Uranium Reserves (Tonnes)
🇦🇺 Australia28%1.7M
🇰🇿 Kazakhstan13%815K
🇨🇦 Canada10%589K
🇷🇺 Russia8%481K
🇳🇦 Namibia8%470K
🇿🇦 South Africa5%321K
🇧🇷 Brazil5%311K
🇳🇪 Niger5%277K
🇨🇳 China4%224K
🇲🇳 Mongolia2%145K
🇺🇿 Uzbekistan2%131K
🇺🇦 Ukraine2%107K
🌍 Rest of World9%524K
Total100%6M

Figures are rounded.

Outside the top three, Russia and Namibia both have roughly the same amount of uranium reserves: about 8% each, which works out to roughly 470,000 tonnes.

South Africa, Brazil, and Niger all have 5% each of the world’s total deposits as well.

China completes the top 10, with a 3% share of uranium reserves, or about 224,000 tonnes.

A caveat to this is that current data is based on known uranium reserves that are capable of being mined economically. The total amount of the world’s uranium is not known exactly—and new deposits can be found all the time. In fact the world’s known uranium reserves increased by about 25% in the last decade alone, thanks to better technology that improves exploration efforts.

Meanwhile, not all uranium deposits are equal. For example, in the aforementioned Olympic Dam, uranium is recovered as a byproduct of copper mining occurring at the same site. In South Africa, it emerges as a byproduct during treatment of ores in the gold mining process. Orebodies with high concentrations of two substances can increase margins, as costs can be shared for two different products.

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