The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Volume of World Petroleum Production

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New UN Handbook Indicates Global Energy Production. UN Press Release DEV/2120. 9 October 1996. "The production of 3,032 million metric tons of world crude oil in 1994 reflected a 2 per cent increase since 1991." 3214 billion liters per year
"World Energy Consumption and Production Trends." The World Almanac. USA: Primedia,1998: 168. "World Production of petroleum in 1996 was almost 70 million barrels per day" 4062 billion liters per year
Table G2 World Production of Crude Oil, NGPL, Other Liquids, and Refinery Processing Gain, 1988-1997. International Energy Annual 1997. US Energy Information Administration. "World Total, 1997, 74,343 (Thousand Barrels per Day)" 4314 billion liters per year
Table 4.4 World Oil Supply, 1970-1998. International Petroleum Statistics Report. US Energy Information Administration. May 1999. "1970 Average, World, 48,986 (Thousand Barrels per Day)" 2843 billion liters per year
"Energy Produced and Consumed by Country." The Information Please Almanac. Massachusetts: Information Please, 1997: 187. "Crude petroleum production 1994, 3032 (million metric tons)" 3214 billion liters per year

Petroleum is a naturally occurring liquid that can be distilled or refined to make fuels, and other valuable products. The biggest problem with using petroleum is that the supply is limited. It is a nonrenewable source because it exists only in natural underground reservoirs and it can't be replaced once it is taken out. Oil is a very important product, however, and we can not live the way we do without it. We use oil for gasoline, paints, plastics, fertilizers, drugs, and explosives. Since there is a limited supply, we must watch the world's production values very closely to make sure there will be enough left for the future.

Most of the world's petroleum production occurs in the Middle East. They are responsible for 67% of the total production. North America is the second area in terms of production. About 15% comes from there. Petroleum, or crude oil, can be measured three ways: barrels, liters, and tons. For this project, I had to convert all the numbers I found into liters. I did this through the following conversion: 1 Barrel = 159 liters = 0.150 ton. Another problem was that some sources listed the number in barrels per day which I then had to convert into a yearly figure.

From my results, it appears that we are producing more petroleum now than we did in the past. In 1970, for example, 2843 billion liters of oil were produced but in 1997, this number increased to 4314 billion liters (most of the other numbers I found were similar but they were from different years). This is because of our ever growing reliance on cars and gas. Unfortunately, we must come up with an alternative soon because we have already consumed over half of the world's supply.

Daniel Ashe -- 1999