Must-Know: World’s Top Oil Companies by Production

The US, Saudi Arabia, and Russia are the world’s top three crude oil producers. Let’s take a look at the world’s top oil players by production volumes.

Rekha Khandelwal, CFA - Author

Nov. 20 2020, Updated 5:30 p.m. ET

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The United States, Saudi Arabia, and Russia are the world’s top three crude oil producers. Let’s take a look at the world’s top oil players by production volumes.

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Saudi Aramco: The top oil-producing company

Saudi Aramco is the largest oil-producing company in the world. It produced an average of 10.3 million barrels per day of oil in 2018. Notably, Saudi Arabia is the second-largest oil-producing country in the world. For the first half of 2019, Saudi Aramco reported net income of $46.9 billion.

Although the company is currently private, it is planning the largest IPO in the world. Learn more in Saudi Aramco IPO: What Investors Can Expect. Additionally, you can refer to Saudi Aramco IPO Arrives: Did Baghdadi’s Death Help?


With an average production of 4.7 million barrels per day, Russian oil company Rosneft is the second-largest oil company in the world. Moreover, it had 41 billion oil-equivalent barrels of hydrocarbon reserves at the end of 2018. Unlike Saudi Aramco, Rosneft is listed on the Moscow Exchange.

Rosneft plays a key role in the domestic supply, as it supplies more than 40% of oil products to the domestic Russian market. Around half of the company’s shares are owned by the state. Additionally, around 19.7% of shares are owned by BP (BP) and 18.9% of shares are owned by QH Oil Investments. The company’s remaining shares are in free float.

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National Iranian Oil Company

Iran produced 3.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in 2018. National Iranian Oil Company—the state-owned oil company—is responsible for all upstream oil and gas projects in the country. So, it primarily accounts for all Iranian oil production.

The United States has imposed sanctions on Iranian oil. To learn more, read Why the US Imposed Sanctions on Iran and Why They Matter.

China National Petroleum Corporation

Another top oil producer is China’s China National Petroleum Corporation (or CNPC). It is China’s largest oil and gas player. It produced 176.4 million tons of oil in 2018. That’s approximately equal to 3.5 million barrels per day. The conversion assumes that 1 ton equals 7.33 barrels of oil, which is a generally accepted conversion. However, the grade of oil and its specific gravity may impact the conversion slightly.

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Kuwait Petroleum Corporation

Kuwait’s’ Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (or KPC) carries out its upstream operations through three subsidiaries. These subsidiaries are Kuwait Oil Company (or KOC), Kuwait Gulf Oil Company (or KGOC), and Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (or KUFPEC). Kuwait Oil Company produced 3.1 million barrels of oil per day in 2018.

KGOC represents the interests of Kuwait in the Partitioned Zone, while KUFPEC carries out upstream operations outside Kuwait. The partitioned zone is alongside the border between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The natural resources in this zone are shared equally by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.


Another top Chinese oil producer is PetroChina, which produced 2.4 million barrels per day of oil in 2018. China National Petroleum Corporation is PetroChina’s controlling shareholder. The company is also one of the largest oil companies by market capitalization.

US player ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil (XOM) produced an average of 2.3 million barrels per day of oil in 2018. ExxonMobil had total proved reserves of 24.3 billion oil-equivalent barrels at the end of 2018. Moreover, it has a 17-year reserves life at its current production rates.

BP (BP), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), and Chevron (CVX) are other top US oil companies. Petróleos Mexicanos (or Pemex), Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (or ADNOC), and Petróleo Brasileiro (or Petrobras) are among the other top oil-producing companies in the world.

To learn about top oil companies by market capitalization, read What You Need to Know about the World’s Largest Oil Companies. For the latest oil and gas updates, refer to Market Realist’s Energy and Utilities page.


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