Date: 16 September 2018

Russia loses “oil leadership”

The USA has won with Russia again. This time it is not about politics, but rather the sphere of the economy. To be more precise, the oil industry. According to the latest data from the US Energy Information Agency (EIA), the United States has surpassed Russia as the world’s leader in oil production. First, the USA surpassed Saudi Arabia and now also Russia. To make matters worse, the American export of “black gold” is also growing, which may affect the price of oil on the global market and threaten the Russian-Saudi alliance on the control of oil production.


As reported by the EIA, the US government agency, the USA has surpassed both Russia and Saudi Arabia in the amount of oil production, at the same time becoming its global leader. The word “probably” was used due to the preliminary data and early projections. The rapid growth of oil production in the USA is a fact. If one takes into consideration the limitation of production in Russia (the result of the OPEC agreement) and its sustainment at a fairly stable level in recent years, then it can be said that the information presented by the EIA is true.

According to the preliminary data and rough estimates of the EIA, in February the US oil production was larger than the one of Saudi Arabia for the first time in more than two decades. Moreover, in June and August America produced more oil than Russia, which happened for the first time since February 1999. In August, the average US production was 10.9 million barrels per day, while in Russia it was 10.8 million barrel per day. If one takes into account the total oil and gas production, then it becomes clear that the USA has been the world leader since 2012. According to the EIA, the United States will remain the global leader in oil production at least until the end of this year as well as in 2019. This is the result of a rapid growth of production, gradually increasing since 2011. The record results are the effect of the oil shale boom, especially evident in western Texas. In 2017, the average daily production in the USA was 9.4 million barrels per day, in 2018 already 10.7 million barrels per day and in 2019 it is expected to reach 11.5 million barrels per day. Meanwhile, oil production in Russia and Saudi Arabia has remained at the relatively same level over the last couple of years. The US production started growing rapidly after the price of oil went up, previously reaching a decline, and finally hitting above $70 per barrel. Of course, Russia may undermine this data, because according to its own official statistics, it produces 11.2 million barrels per day. The only thing is that this number also includes condensate, which is produced together with oil. Furthermore, Russia may be concerned about the rapid growth of the US oil export, which is about 2 million barrels per day.

All texts published by the Warsaw Institute Foundation may be disseminated on the condition that their origin is credited. Images may not be used without permission.

Related posts