Oil and Gasoline Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here is an overview of crude oil reserves and production around the world.


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

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) produce about 37% of the world’s crude oil and possess nearly 80% of the world’s proven crude oil reserves, according to data from OPEC and US Energy Information Administration.

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

The following countries have the largest oil reserves in the world as of 2021, according to the US Energy Information Administration:

— Venezuela — 304 billion barrels

– Saudi Arabia – 259 billion barrels

– Iran – 209 billion barrels

-Canada- 170 billion barrels (non-OPEC countries)

— Iraq — 145 billion barrels

— Kuwait — 102 billion barrels

– United Arab Emirates – 98 billion barrels

Russia80 billion barrels (non-OPEC countries)

— Libya — 48 billion barrels

– United States – 38 billion barrels in December 2020 (non-OPEC countries)

-Nigeria- 37 billion barrels

Production and consumption in the United States

In 2021, the United States produced approximately 11.185 million barrels of crude oil per day.

The United States leads the world in total oil production, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Russia in 2020.

The United States consumed an average of 19.78 million barrels of oil per day in 2021.

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

In 2020, for the first year since at least 1949, the United States exported more oil than it imported. About 52% of crude oil imports come from Canada.

U.S. dependence on imported oil peaked in 2005.


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

September 22, 2008 – Oil prices see the largest one-day increase ever, rising from $16.37 to $120.92 a barrel.


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

October 1973 – OPEC decrees an embargo that stops oil exports to the United States. Americans face long lines at gas stations and gasoline shortages. Gasoline prices rose from 36 cents per gallon in 1972 to over 50 cents per gallon in 1973.

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

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

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

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

2020 – The United States is importing less oil than it exports for the first time in more than seven decades.

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