Economics

Top Oil Producing Countries In Latin America And The Caribbean

Venezuela is the biggest oil producing country among Latin America & the Caribbean.

Oil production has been intensifying all over the world, with new oil deposit discoveries made almost each year. Latin America and The Caribbean are among the key oil-producing regions of the world and are home to some of the world’s largest oil deposits. The largest proven oil reserve is found in Venezuela, a country in Latin America. Other key oil-producing countries in the region include Brazil and Colombia.

Oil Production In Venezuela

Venezuela is not only the largest oil producer in Latin America but also among the largest oil producers in the world, with the country producing as much as 135.2 million tons of oil each year. Venezuela is part of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and was among the organization’s founding members. The proven oil reserves in Venezuela are the largest in the world and are estimated to be about 296.5 billion barrels which is equivalent to 20% of the global oil reserves. Oil has been used in Venezuela for centuries, even predating the arrival of Spanish settlers in the 16th century. However, the first commercial oil production began in the early 20th century with the first oil wells being drilled in the 1910s. Oil exploration and production in Venezuela continued throughout the First World War, and by 1918, oil had become the key export commodities from Venezuela. Venezuela has a daily oil production capacity of 2.39 million barrels, making it the tenth-largest oil producer in the world.

Oil Production In Brazil

Brazil is the second largest oil producer in Latin America with the country having an annual oil production of an estimated 131.8 million tons. The proven oil reserves in Brazil are the second largest in both Latin America and the Caribbean, which at 11.2 billion barrels is only surpassed by Venezuela. Majority of the established oil deposits in the country are located in offshore locations. One such offshore site is the Lula oil field, located 160 miles off Rio de Janeiro’s coast. Lula oil field which was only discovered in 2006 is considered the largest in the western hemisphere, with its recoverable oil deposits being estimated to be 7.5 billion barrels. Recent studies show that there could be even larger oil deposits in neighboring offshore sites and if proven, could make Brazil among the largest oil producers in the world. The current oil production capacity at this one oil field is 100,000 barrels each day. Other important oil fields in Brazil include the Iara Oil Field and the Iracema Oil Field. Petrobras is the main oil company in Brazil and enjoyed a monopoly in the oil industry for many years.

Oil Production In Colombia

Colombia is a major oil producing country and is the third largest oil producer in both Latin America as well as in the Caribbean, behind Venezuela and Brazil. The country has annual oil production of 53.1 million tons. Colombia has been exporting oil since the 1980s with the commodity accounting for as much as 30% of the country’s total exports. Most of the country’s oil exports are carried out by the state-owned Colombian Petroleum Enterprise.

Recent Oil Production Trends

The global oil production has been declining in recent years after many major oil-producing countries reaching their peak oil. For instance, in Colombia, the oil reserves are estimated to decline at an annual rate of 16.8%.

Top Oil Producing Countries In Latin America And The Caribbean

RankCountry nameOil production (in thousand tonnes per year)
1Venezuela135,200
2Brazil131,800
3Colombia53,100
4Argentina29,700
5Ecuador29,100
6Trinidad and Tobago4,900
7Peru4,700
8Cuba3,700
9Bolivia3,400
10Suriname700

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