Saudi Arabia still world’s top petroleum producer

New analysis shows Saudi Arabia remained the world’s largest producer and exporter of petroleum last year. In 2012 the Middle Eastern nation produced an average of 11.6 million barrels per […]

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By Vicky Ellis

New analysis shows Saudi Arabia remained the world’s largest producer and exporter of petroleum last year.

In 2012 the Middle Eastern nation produced an average of 11.6 million barrels per day (bbl/d) and exported around 8.6 million bbl/d in total, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

Saudi Arabia has an estimated 268 billion barrels of proved oil reserves, show the figures, more than 16% of the global total. It is the only country in the world with “extensive spare oil production capacity, which can help cushion market disruptions”. While Saudi Arabia has roughly 100 major oil and gas fields, more than half of its proven reserves are found in eight fields.

The country uses significant amounts of oil for electricity generation, states the analysis, reaching as much as one million barrels per day during hot summer months, while its electricity demand has doubled since 2000, a trend which is expected to continue.