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Oil Production and Control Essay

A majority of world’s oil production takes place in Saudi Arabia, which is followed by Russia, USA, other Middle East nations, and rest of the world. Among the top ten countries, at almost 11 million barrel oil per day (bpd), Saudi Arabia’s share stands at 13. 9 percent in total daily production of oil. Russia produces 12. 5 percent or 9 million bpd, USA stand at 10 percent with 8. 5 million bpd production, Iran has 5. 3 % share at 4. 2 million bpd. It is followed by Mexico at 4. 8 % (3. 8 million bpd), China at 4. 7 %, (3. 7 million bpd) , Canada 3. 9 % (3.

1 million bpd), Norway 3. 8 % (3 million bpd), Venezuela 3. 6 % (2. 8 million bpd) and Kuwait 3. 4 % (2. 7 million bpd). Put together, the top ten nations produce more than 60 % of total oil. The other major oil producers are UAE -3. 2 %, Nigeria 3. 1 %, Algeria %, United Kingdom 2. 4 %, Libya 2. 2%, Brazil 2%, Kazakhstan 1. 7%, Angola 1. 6%, and Qatar 1. 4% (Salazar and West, 2004) Breaking the production according to region, Middle East produces 31 %, North America 16 %, Europe 24 %, Africa 11 %, Asia 10 % and South America contributes 8 % to the total world production.

In the recent years, the production values for Asia have come down, following Indonesia’s conversion to net oil importer from net oil exporter. Following chart represents a graphical analysis of oil production by region and country. Figure 1: Top 10 Oil Producing Countries Share Figure 2: World Oil Production-Regions World Oil Production (Control) The global oil production was earlier in control of major oil producing corporations and oil companies. Seven large international oil conglomerates, also called as seven sisters, controlled the majority of the oil production untill 1960.

These seven companies are Exxon, Mobil, SoCal, Texaco, Gulf, BP and Shell (Cummings, 2003). These companies controlled oil fields from USA to Middle East and determined the production output levels. In 1960, the British completely pulled out of Middle East region, which left USA as the only western power in control there. Alarmed over US’s possible intention to turn the oil economies to suit its own consumption model, several major oil producing countries, led by Middle East countries and Venezuela met and formed Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1960s.

The primary aim of this move was to safeguard their interests and profits against the perceived exploits of western oil companies (Pelletiere, 2004). Since then OPEC has acted as a major player in the oil market. The member of countries of OPEC control almost 40-45 percent of world oil production and therefore OPEC is a heavyweight cartel which can swing the oil prices by cutting down or increasing its production-as happened in early 2008, when oil prices soared to $130 barrel.

Although OPEC does not directly control the global oil production and output, the steady decline of oil producing capacities of non OPEC countries implies an increased role of OPEC in coming future (Pelletiere, 2004). Reference Salazar, Jorge and West Bernadette. Oil and Development in Venezuela during the 20th Century. Praeger, 2004. Cummings, Sally. Oil, Transition and Security in Central Asia. Routledge, 2003. 274 pgs. Pelletiere, Stephen. America’s Oil Wars. Praeger, 2004. 192 pgs

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