The United States has been the top producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons for five consecutive years, even though production of petroleum and natural gas declined in 2016, from the previous year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In 2009, the United States passed Russia as the top producer of natural gas, and in 2013, it exceeded Saudi Arabia as the top producer of petroleum hydrocarbons.
In Russia and the United States, production of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons in terms of energy is almost evenly split between petroleum and natural gas, while production in Saudi Arabia heavily favors petroleum, according to the EIA. Petroleum production includes liquid fuels, such as crude oil and lease condensate, tight oil, extra-heavy oil and bitumen. The production process also produces natural gas plant liquids, biofuels and refinery processing gain.
“In the United States, crude oil and lease condensate accounted for roughly 60% of total petroleum hydrocarbon production in 2016,” according to the EIA. The share is greater in Russia and Saudi Arabia because they produce less natural gas plant liquids and have smaller volumes of refinery grain and biofuels production. “U.S. petroleum production fell by 300,000 barrels per day in 2016, as a result of relatively low oil prices.” Natural gas production in the United States fell by 2.3 billion cubic feet per day in 2016.
Hydrocarbon production in Russia “has been rising as capital expenditure spending on exploration and production increased,” according to the EIA. Russian natural gas production also rose in 2016, in part to meet growth in European natural gas demand.” In Saudi Arabia, production of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons increased 3% in 2016.
U.S. production of petroleum and other liquid fuels is expected to rise to 15.6 million barrels per day in 2017 and 16.7 million barrels per day in 2018, from 14.8 million barrels per day in 2016. In Russia, liquid fuels production is expected to be an average of 11.18 million barrels per day in 2017 and 2018, close to the production level of 11.24 million barrels per day in 2016.