By July 26, 2017 Read More →

Top producing countries accounting for higher percentage of world oil output – NEB

Top oil producing countries Source: National Energy Board

Iraq, Saudi Arabia significantly increased share of world production between 2009 and 2016

Global oil production has trended upwards since 2000, increasing from 75.8 million barrels per day (MMb/d) to 94.6 MMb/d in 2016, according to an NEB press release.

Between 2000 and 2009, oil production increased by almost 8 MMb/d, but the share produced by the top 10 producing countries remained constant at around 62 per cent.

Between 2009 and 2016, output grew by a total of 11 MMb/d, while the share produced by the top 10 increased from 61 to 69 per cent.


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This increase was driven primarily by production growth concentrated in the United States, Canada, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, and differentiates this second period (2009-2016) from the first (2000-2009), when production increases were spread more widely across a number of countries.

The most notable production increase was in the U.S. Beginning in late 2008, production of tight oil from previously unproductive rock formations was made possible with technological advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

This caused a boom in American oil production, which increased by 68 per cent (5.6 MMb/d) between 2009 and 2016.

This boom also contributed to an increase in the U.S. share of global oil production during this same time period from 9.8 per cent to 14.5 per cent, and accounted for more than half of the increase in “top 10” production concentration.

Over the same seven years, Canadian production increased by over 1.2 MMb/d, and grew from 3.9 to 4.8 per cent of global output.

A key factor in this growth was the increasing use of steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) technology, which improved accessibility of oil sands reserves that were too deep for traditional mining.

Between 2010 and 2016, SAGD production grew by almost 200 per cent (615 000 b/d), while traditional mining grew by only 34 per cent (295 000 b/d).

The production increase was also influenced by the same technological advances that caused the tight oil boom in the U.S., as Canadian tight oil production increased by 280 000 b/d, more than five-fold between 2009 and 2015, before falling slightly in 2016.

Iraq and Saudi Arabia also significantly increased their shares of world production between 2009 and 2016.

Both experienced production increases of over 2 MMb/d, which increased Iraq’s share from 2.9 per cent to 4.7 per cent and Saudi Arabia’s share from 12.3 per cent to 13.1 per cent.

Notably, Mexico and Venezuela fell from the top ten during this time, while Iraq and Kuwait were added.

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