Table of Contents
Table of Contents

The Biggest Oil Producers in Asia

The Asia Pacific accounted for 8.4% of the world's oil production in 2020. The region was led by China and India, China being the world's fifth-largest oil-producing nation. In recent years, Asia's share of world oil production has been on a slow but steady decline, though Asia accounts for 77% of world oil demand growth through 2025, meaning that its reliance on oil imports will increase to 81% by 2025.

This is primarily a consequence of flat regional oil production during a period of rising overall global output. However, demand continues unabated, as the Asia Pacific region consumes most of the world's oil, roughly 38% in 2020, primarily driven by China's demand.

Key Takeaways

  • The biggest oil producers in Asia are China, India, and Indonesia.
  • China accounts for more than half of the total production in Asia and imports additional oil to meet domestic demand.
  • Malaysia and Thailand are also among the largest oil producers in Asia.
  • India is the third-largest oil-consuming country, after the U.S. and China.
  • Demand remains strong, with the Asia Pacific consuming 38% of the world's oil production.

1. China

Asian oil output was 7.4 million barrels per day (BPD) in 2020. While a number of countries in the region have discovered large new reserves, others face declining production from aging oil fields. Consequently, analysts expect production trends to continue for the region as a whole.

China is the biggest oil producer in the region by a substantial margin, accounting for 5 million barrels of oil per day. It is responsible for slightly more than half of Asia's total production and announced in 2019 that it would increase capital investment in oil production by 20%. China hopes to increase its output to become more energy independent, as the country imported over 10 million barrels per day in 2019 to meet domestic demand.

The oil industry in China is led by several of the largest energy companies in the world: China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, known as Sinopec; China National Offshore Oil Corporation, or CNOOC; and PetroChina. These three companies produce the majority of the country's total annual production.

2. India

India produced 771,000 barrels per day in 2020. While production growth has steadied in recent years, oil consumption in India continues to grow by leaps and bounds. India ranks as the third-largest oil consumer in the world after the U.S. and China.

Oil production in India is dominated by the state-owned enterprise, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, which accounted for roughly 71% of domestic production. Cairn Oil & Gas, Vedanta Limited, the Indian subsidiary of the British oil and gas company, Cairn Energy PLC, is the second-largest contributor to India's oil market, producing 24% of India's domestic crude oil.

3. Indonesia

Indonesia comes in behind India with the production of about 743,000 barrels per day in 2020. In the 1990s up until 2000, when production was at a high, Indonesia produced between 1.5 million and 1.7 million barrels per day.

Since that period, however, production has followed a nearly unbroken downward trend to the current level. In 2009, the combination of declining production in aging oil fields along with rising domestic demand compelled Indonesia to exit the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), of which it had been a member since 1962. It rejoined only to leave again in 2016.

PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia, a subsidiary of the American energy giant Chevron Corporation, and PT Pertamina are two of the largest oil producers in Indonesia. Foreign oil companies including Total SA, ConocoPhillips, and CNOOC are also significant producers in the region.

4. Malaysia

Malaysia produced 596,000 barrels of oil per day in 2020, most of which was extracted from offshore fields. Over the past decade, production has been fairly steady with a slight downward trend since 2016. As the oil and gas sector is an important part of Malaysia's economic growth, the government has concentrated on increasing hydrocarbon production.

88.4 Million

The number of barrels of oil produced each day globally in 2020.

Petroliam Nasional Berhad, also known as Petronas, is Malaysia's state-owned energy corporation. It controls all oil and gas resources in the country and is responsible for the development of those assets. International integrated oil and gas companies, such as ExxonMobil Corporation, Murphy Oil Corporation, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, are involved with Petronas in oil production activities in Malaysia.

5. Thailand

Oil production in Thailand in 2020 was 418,000 barrels per day. Thailand must import large quantities of oil to meet growing domestic demand as domestic crude oil reserves are declining. There has been little investment in upstream activities due to political crises, flooding, and difficulty in passing revisions to the Petroleum Act.

Chevron is the main oil producer in Thailand. It operates Thailand's largest oil field, Benjamas, and has investments in many other important production sites in the country. Thailand's state-owned oil company, PTT Exploration and Production, is the country's second-largest oil producer. Other international companies involved in oil production in Thailand include Coastal Energy Company and Salamander Energy PLC.

Which Country in Asia Produces the Most Oil?

In Asia, China produces the most oil. In 2020, the country produced 4.93 million barrels per day. The country after China that produced the most oil in Asia was India.

What Countries Are the Biggest Oil Producers?

In 2020, the biggest oil producers and the amount of oil they produced are the United States (18.60 million barrels per day), Saudi Arabia (10.82), Russia (10.50), Canada (5.26), and China (5.93).

Who Has the Most Oil?

Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. The country is estimated to have 300.0 billion barrels of oil in reserves, however, much of these reserves are difficult to reach. After Venezuela, Saudi Arabia has the most oil reserves at 266.5 billion barrels.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Statista. "Distribution of Oil Production Worldwide in 2020, by Region."

  2. Energy Information Administration. "What Countries Are the Top Producers and Consumers of Oil?"

  3. IEA. "Oil 2020."

  4. Statista. "Oil Consumption Share Worldwide in 2010 and 2020, by Region."

  5. Forbes. "China Is Betting Big On Increasing Oil Production."

  6. Energy Information Administration. "China's Crude Oil Imports Surpassed 10 Million Barrels Per Day in 2019."

  7. Statista. "Oil Production in the Asia-Pacific Region in 2020, by Country."

  8. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited. "ONGC Corporate Profile - The Largest Energy Company in India."

  9. Vedanta. "About Cairn Oil & Gas."

  10. Energy Information Administration. "Indonesia," Page 5.

  11. Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. "Member Countries."

  12. Energy Information Administration. "Malaysia."

  13. Statista. "Oil Production Worldwide From 1998 to 2020."

  14. Energy Information Administration. "Thailand."

  15. World Population Review. "Oil Reserves by Country 2021."

Take the Next Step to Invest
The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace.