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Top 20 Oil-Producing Countries (PHOTOS)

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 02/22/11 02:57 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:35 PM ET

A recent list from the AP reveals the top 20 oil-producing countries (in barrels per day), according to 2009 statistics by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

In light of recent oil spills, lawsuits, and environmental damage, it is debatable whether these statistics are something to be proud of, or if they merely further point at the urgency with which we need to pursue alternative forms of energy.

Check out the top 20 oil-producing countries below. Do any on the list surprise you?

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  • #20. Azerbaijan

    Azerbaijan produces 1.0 million barrels of oil per day. <a href="" target="_hplink">WikiLeaks</a> cables suggest that there were resemblances between BP's recent Gulf Coast oil spill and a much lesser-known gas leak in Azerbaijan that occurred 18 months earlier.

  • #19. United Kingdom

    The United Kingdom produces 1.3 million barrels of oil daily and exports 775,000 barrels. Following the BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast, the U.K. has been <a href="" target="_hplink">urged</a> by some advocates to suspend deepwater extraction in the North Sea.

  • #18. Kazakhstan

    Kazakhstan produces 1.5 million barrels of oil daily, and exports 1.4 million barrels. China is <a href="" target="_hplink">reportedly</a> paying premium prices for Kazakhstan's oil, and China is helping the country to build pipelines and roads as well.

  • #17. Libya

    Libya produces 1.7 million barrels of oil per day, while exporting 1.2 million barrels daily. As violence in Libya currently escalates, the <a href="" target="_hplink">price of oil</a> has skyrocketed.

  • #16. Algeria

    Algeria produces 1.8 million barrels of oil daily. Last summer, Algeria's president <a href="" target="_hplink">fired</a> the CEO and top managers of the state-owned oil firm Sonatrach following a corruption scandal.

  • #15. Angola

    Angola produces 1.9 million barrels of oil daily, and export 1.8 million barrels, placing them at #7 on the world's list of exporters.

  • #14. Brazil

    Brazil produces 2.0 million barrels of oil daily, while exporting 505,000 barrels. The effects of Brazil's <a href="" target="_hplink">oil spill</a> in Guanabara Bay can still be seen ten years later.

  • #13. Norway

    Norway produces 2.1 million barrels of oil daily. An Icelandic ship recently <a href="" target="_hplink">leaked</a> oil into a Norwegian national park after running aground.

  • #12. Nigeria

    Nigeria produces 2.2 million gallons of oil per day, placing them 12th among producers. But they are the 4th biggest exporter, exporting 2.1 million barrels each day. Much controversy has surrounded oil production in Nigeria. Most recently <a href="" target="_hplink">Royal Dutch Shell</a> is on the defensive following a $100 million fine imposed by a Nigerian court for a 1970 oil spill. Also, past <a href="" target="_hplink">reports</a> show that militants have attacked pipelines and kidnapped oil employees, cutting into Nigeria's oil production. Last year, a military <a href="" target="_hplink">attack</a> in Nigeria's Oil Delta killed up to 150 people.

  • #11. Venezuela

    Venezuela produces 2.3 million barrels of oil daily, while exporting 1.3 million barrels per day. Hugo Chavez has sparked controversy in the U.S., making a <a href="" target="_hplink">statement</a> last summer that pending certain military actions, "we will not send a drop of oil to the United States, even if we have to eat rocks."

  • #10. Kuwait

    Kuwait produces 2.4 million barrels of oil per day. They export 1.4 million barrels daily, placing them 11th among oil exporting countries.

  • #9. Iraq

    Iraq produces 2.4 million barrels of oil each day, and exports 1.9 million barrels. Some <a href="" target="_hplink">reports</a> suggest that Iraq will become increasingly important to meet the world's demand for oil, especially in light of recent oil spills. Considered the birthplace for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Iraq struggled to boost production after years of war and sanctions.

  • #8. United Arab Emirates

    The United Arab Emirates produce 2.4 million barrels of oil each day, while exporting 2.0 million barrels. Meanwhile, reports show the UAE has focused some attention on investing in green energy, such as <a href="" target="_hplink">solar power</a>.

  • #7. Canada

    Canada produces 2.6 million barrels of oil per day. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently <a href="" target="_hplink">urged</a> the U.S. to approve a <a href="" target="_hplink">controversial</a> oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

  • #6. Mexico

    Mexico produces 2.6 million barrels of oil per day while exporting 1.3 million barrels. A massive oil pipeline <a href="" target="_hplink">explosion</a> in San Martin Texmelucan killed at least 28 people, including 13 children last year.

  • #5. China

    China produces 3.8 million barrels of oil every day. They do not make the list of Top 20 oil exporters. The country experienced their largest reported <a href="" target="_hplink">oil spill</a> last year after a pipeline exploded. Researchers suggest the ecological damage could last a decade. <a href="" target="_hplink">Greenpeace</a> remarked, "From the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of Dalian to the numerous coal mine accidents, it is tragically obvious that economic development built upon fossil fuels is unsustainable and comes at a high price."

  • #4. Iran

    Iran produces 4.0 million barrels of oil daily. Meanwhile, their <a href="" target="_hplink">nuclear</a> program has upset many foreign countries. Iran claims that their program focuses on using low-enriched uranium to generate electricity.

  • #3. United States

    The United States produces 5.4 million barrels of oil per day. Yet, the U.S. doesn't make the list of the Top 20 <em>exporters</em> of oil. The U.S. is currently handling the <a href="" target="_hplink">ramifications</a> of their massive BP oil spill off the Gulf Coast.

  • #2. Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia produces 8.3 million barrels of oil every day. Controversial <a href="" target="_hplink">reports</a> suggest that Saudia Arabia may have exaggerated its crude oil reserves by 40%, according to a WikiLeaks cable. If the cable is true, the country might not be able to control prices.

  • #1. Russia

    Russia produces 9.5 million barrels of oil per day. While they are the top producer of oil, they are ranked the #2 exporter below Saudi Arabia. Russia exports 5.4 million barrels per day.