The Top Oil Producing Nations In Europe

Oil being extracted in Russia. By a wide margin, Russia is Europe's largest producer of oil.
Oil being extracted in Russia. By a wide margin, Russia is Europe's largest producer of oil.

Global oil production reached a daily average of about 80.6 million barrels in 2016. Over 68% of the total oil production in the world comes from the top-ten largest oil-producing countries. Europe is one of the smallest oil producing continents, only surpassing Oceania. Russia is the largest oil producer in Europe. Other major oil-producing countries in Europe are Norway and the United Kingdom.

1. Russia

Russia is the largest oil producer in Europe and is among the top oil producers in the world, with an annual oil production of about 540.7 million tons. Russia has the eighth-largest oil reserves in the world. According to statistics provided by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources in 2005, the proven oil reserves in the Eastern Siberian region of Russia are estimated to be more 4.5 billion barrels. The Ministry also states that the total proven oil reserves in the country are as much as 10.9 million tons. However, the size of the oil reserves in Western Siberia (where the majority of Russia’s oil production takes place) is not entirely known. Estimates from Wood Mackenzie claim that oil reserves in Western Siberia can be as much as 2 trillion barrels. The average daily production of oil in Russia was about 10.83 million barrels of oil in December 2015. Oil is among the top Russian export commodities, with the country which is the world’s second-largest exporter of oil, exporting about 70% of its oil.

2. Norway

Norway is Europe’s second-largest oil producer, with the country’s annual production estimated to be about 88 million tons. Oil was first discovered in Norway in the North Sea in the 1960s. Since the discovery, oil has become the number-one export commodity in Norway, with crude oil accounting for about 40% of the total annual exports of the country. The petroleum industry makes up about 17% of the GDP of Norway. As a measure to counter the effects of fluctuations in global oil prices, the Norwegian government transfers a portion of its proceeds from the oil industry into a fund known as the Government Pension Fund Global. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in 2005 that the Barents Sea has about a third of the global undiscovered oil reserves and also indicated the government’s intention to exploit these immense reserves. The receding of Arctic ice witnessed in recent years has also led to the government to announce intentions to engage in oil exploration in the Arctic region.

3. United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is the third-largest oil producer in Europe, with an annual oil production estimated to be as much as 45.3 million tons. The country is also the 19th largest oil producer in the world. Oil was first discovered in the 19th century in Scotland, but the oil quickly reached peak production. Other significant oil deposits were discovered in the early 20th century in Derbyshire and later in Eakring. Despite the immense oil reserves discovered in the UK’s offshore oil platforms, the country’s oil production is on a decline after oil production peaked in the late 20th century. The annual rate of the decline in oil production in the UK is estimated to be about 7.5%.

Future Predictions On Europe’s Oil Production

Many oil producing countries in Europe are nearing their peak production, while some such as the United Kingdom has already crossed the line. The United Kingdom, a country which was once a major oil exporting country, now has to rely on oil imports to meet its domestic oil demand after reaching its peak oil production in 1999.

The Top Oil Producing Nations In Europe

RankCountry nameOil production (thousand tonnes per year)
3United Kingdom45,300

More in Economics