The world production of crude oil fell in 2009 in line with the global economic downturn and reduced demand. However, oil production remains an important component of GDP and export revenues for many oil producers despite making them vulnerable to price fluctuations and supply shocks. Changes in oil production will also impact oil-importing countries, and businesses and consumers. The supply of crude oil plays a role in strategic decisions and international relations.
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- Crude oil production is essential for world energy demand, sustained economic growth for many oil-importing countries as well as a major source of revenue for oil producers. Crude oil is also an important raw material for the chemicals industry. As a vital commodity, crude oil supply plays a role in strategic decisions and international relations;
- In 2009, Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer with 494.2 million tonnes of oil production. Russia’s energy production is particularly important for European oil importers and has been a source of regional tensions. Exports of petroleum and petroleum products accounted for nearly 50% of Russian exports by commodity in 2009;
- The Middle East remains the world’s biggest oil-producing region and accounted for 30.3% of total world crude oil production in 2009, according to BP statistics. As well As Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are amongst the world’s largest oil producers. The Middle East region is also home to 56.6% of the world’s proven oil reserves in 2009, according to BP, and so will continue to play a vital role in global crude oil production.