Crude oil, or petroleum, is a naturally occurring liquid mineral that is mankind's main source of motor vehicle fuel and, in some parts of the world, heating oil. Crude oil ranges from yellow to black in color and displays variable density and viscosity. Once extracted from deposits underground, crude oil is processed into products including gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, heating oils, asphalt, and lubricating oils. In 2020, the world used, or consumed, approximately 88.7 million barrels of oil per day. This number actually represents a decrease in consumption compared to previous years, and is attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United States was the world's largest producer of crude oil in 2020, producing about 11.5 million barrels per day, with Texas, New Mexico, and North Dakota ranking as the largest oil-producing states. Oil deposits that have not yet been pumped out of the ground are known as oil reserves. Venezuela and Saudi Arabia have the largest oil reserves in the world, but approximately half of the countries in the world are oil-producing nations.
Top 10 Countries that Consume the Most Oil (2020 barrels per day):
The top ten consumers of oil account for approximately 60% of the world’s total oil consumption, with all other countries combined accounting for about 40% of the world’s total oil consumption. The United States is both the largest producer of oil, mining approximately 11.5 million barrels per day, and also its largest consumer of oil at more than 17 million gallons per day—more than the entire European Union (9.8 million). This is approximately 15-20% of the world’s total oil consumption. This is followed by China, which consumes 14.2 million barrels of oil per day, and India, which consumes about 4.7 million barrels per day. The United States, China, and India alone account for over a third of the world’s total oil consumption. All three of these countries have the three largest populations in the world.
There are an estimated 1.73 trillion barrels of proven oil reserves in the world as of 2020. It is estimated that the world consumes more than 88 million barrels of oil per day. The world’s proven reserves are equivalent to about 46.6 times its annual consumption levels, meaning that the Earth has roughly 53 years of oil left at the current consumption levels.
Some of the smallest consumers of crude oil are Niue at 50 barrels per day and Saint Helena at 70 barrels per day. These nations have notably smaller populations and fewer vehicles and planes, which decreases their reliance upon oil.