As of 2011, the countries that produced the most oil were Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the US, followed by China and Iran. New access to oil previously locked in shale (i.e., rock) means that, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the US will likely surpass Russia in oil production by around 2015 and Saudi Arabia by around 2020. It's reported that US oil imports would likely drop so much, as a result, that the US could actually become a net exporter of oil. Despite this, the change could be temporary — developments in shale gas extraction technologies in other countries as well as the recovery of Iraq's oil industry could change the rankings again.
More about oil production:
- The top three oil-producing countries in 2011 produced more barrels of oil per day together than the next nine oil-producing countries combined.
- Despite being one of the top three oil producers in the world, the US is also one of the top importers. In 2009, it imported over 10 million barrels of oil per day, which was more than the entire European Union for the same year. Ten million barrels of oil per day is around a 9th of the world's daily supply.
- One barrel of crude oil can be used to make about 20 gallons (75 liters) of gasoline.