The above infographic shows the Map of the Middle East by Oil Production or simply the Middle East Oil Map. According to the map, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil-producing country in the Middle East — followed by Iraq, Iran, UAE, and Kuwait. The Middle East homes five out of the top ten world’s largest oil-producing countries. The Middle East region produces 27.2 million barrels per day of oil — 31.3% of global oil production.
So, let’s learn more about the top countries on the Middle East Oil Map and learn a thing or two about oil reserves and production in these countries.
Please note we have used data mainly from the U.S. Energy Information Administration to work out the Middle East Oil Map.
The Middle East Oil Map
Now let’s have a look at all the prominent countries on the Middle East Oil Map.
Saudi Arabia has the second-largest proven oil reserves (after Venezuela) and is the world’s third-biggest oil producer. Oil production in Saudi Arabia amounts to 9.313 million barrels per day — slightly less than the USA (11.18 million bbl/day) and Russia (10.11 million bbl/day). The country has proven oil reserves of 297.5 billion barrels (17.2% of the global oil reserves). Oil and gas account for 40% of its GDP and 70% of its exports.
According to our research at InsightsArtist, these reserves will last for 73.84 more years, after which they will exhaust fully.
For more, check our article, How much oil does Saudi Arabia have and why is it diversifying?
Iraq daily produces 4.084 million barrels of oil, making it the second-biggest oil-producing country on the Middle East Oil Map. Similarly, Iraq is also the fifth-biggest oil producer in the world. With 145 billion barrels of proven oil reserves (8.4% of global oil reserves), Iraq lies in the fifth spot among the countries with the most oil reserves. Iraq is more heavily dependent on oil than any other OPEC country — crude oil accounts for 95% of its exports.
Since the US invasion of Iraq, the country has increased its production capacity tremendously. Iraq still faces challenges such as violence, political instability, and poor infrastructure which constrain its oil production. Many American, European, and Asian companies are involved in oil production in Iraq.
Iran is the third-biggest oil-producing country on the Middle East Oil Map — with a production of 3.110 million barrels daily. It has proven oil reserves of 157.8 billion barrels (9.1% of the total oil reserves). The country is the 7th largest oil-producing country in the world. Iran faces economic sanctions due to its nuclear program, thus limiting its oil production and exports. In 2015, the economic sanctions were removed, but US President Donald Trump later restored them in 2019.
The current volatility in oil prices due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine has opened new opportunities for this country rich in oil and natural gas resources. According to reports, the country stored its excess oil and gas in tankers and the sea as soon as sanctions were re-imposed. So, Iran has an ample supply of oil ready to ship to the world.
UAE has oil reserves of 97.8 billion barrels (5.6% of the world’s total). The country lies in the 4th spot with an oil production of 3.091 million barrels/day on the Middle East Oil Map. The oil and gas sector accounts for 30% of the country’s GDP and around 10% of its exports. Abu Dhabi possesses the highest oil resources in UAE, as 95% of oil reserves and 92% of natural gas reserves exist in Abu Dhabi.
UAE uses EOR (Enhanced Oil Recovery) techniques to churn oil for itself and stay on top, despite no new oil discovery.
Read here for more on the EOR technique in Dubai Petroleum, UAE.
Kuwait has the 7th largest oil reserves of 101.5 billion barrels (5.9% of global oil reserves). With 2.527million barrels of daily production, Kuwait is the 5th biggest oil producer on the Middle East Oil Map (10th in the world). Kuwait is heavily dependent on oil as it accounts for 50% of its GDP, 95% of its exports, and 90% of the government’s export revenues.
Kuwait can increase its production, but due to insufficient foreign investment, its production is less than its reserves. The country has kept its oil industry closed to private sectors for decades, and still, the policies are not conducive for private investments.
Qatar has proven oil reserves of 25.2 billion barrels (1.5% of total oil reserves). With oil production of 1.304 million barrels/day, Qatar is the 6th biggest oil-producing country on the Middle East Oil Map. It is a small but rich country with only a 2.88 million population. Qatar has the third-largest natural gas reserves.
Oil and gas constitute more than 60% of its GDP and more than 80% of its exports. The country is also the largest exporter of LNG and the second-largest exporter of natural gas.
Next on the Middle East Oil Map is Oman with daily oil production of 970,816 barrels. The country owns proven oil reserves of 5.4 billion barrels — more than 70% of its consumption. The oil sector generates 84% of revenues for the country. Oman can produce more than its current productions but restricted it due to the supply accord with OPEC and its 10 allies.
Bahrain is the 8th biggest oil producer on the Middle East Oil Map, with daily production of 175,000 barrels. Petroleum sector accounts for 11% of its GDP, 70% of Government’s revenues and 60% of exports earnings.
By 2023, Bahrain is expected to make online its offshore shale oil reserves of 80 billion barrels (second-largest shale oil deposits in the world).
Syria is the 9th biggest oil producer with daily oil production of 71,000 barrels on the Middle East Oil Map. The country has proven oil reserves of 2.5 billion barrels with just 0.1% total world share. Syria’s oil reserves are small, dispersed, and mainly exist near its border with Iraq. The country’s economy depends on agriculture, oil, and services. Olive oil constitutes a major portion of its exports.
Yemen has oil reserves of 3 billion barrels and daily oil production of 70,000 barrels. The Agriculture sector and finishing are the bread earners for the country, generating around 20% of its GDP. Crude oil, gold, fish, naphthalene, soaps, etc are the main export products of Yemen.
Ukraine-Russia War, Dwindling Oil Resources & the Road Ahead
Ukraine-Russian war has benefited the Middle Eastern countries as the oil price skyrocketed after 8 years of oil slump (which worsened during the pandemic). But despite all the profits, like every renewable resource, oil is also dwindling as the world has oil reserves for 49 more years. Many oil-producing Gulf countries have formulated various plans to diversify their economies and limit their dependence on hydrocarbon.
Besides, oil and fossil fuel have also contributed to the carbon emissions and climate changes we witness today.
So it is good for our environment if we all transition to clean energy instead of heavily depending on oil, natural gas, and fossil fuel for energy production.