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Unveiling The World’s Largest Oil Fields

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​A staggering 65,000 oil fields lie beneath the Earth’s surface, holding vast reservoirs of crude oil. With many in the Middle East, it’s a hotbed for oil projects – offshore and onshore. Their size and scale vary, but which are the world’s largest?

1. Ghawar Field

Location: Saudi Arabia

Estimated recoverable oil (past and future): 88-104 billion barrels

Production: 3.8 million barrels per day

Taking the crown is Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar Field – the planet’s largest oil field. It reigns not only in daily oil production but also in total oil reserves too, with 88-104 billion barrels. On a daily basis, this colossal oil field yields nearly four million barrels. Therefore, it’s no surprise this oil field is a major contributor to Saudi Arabia’s status as the world’s lead exporter of oil.

2. Burgan Field

Location: Kuwait

Estimated recoverable oil (past and future): 66-72 billion barrels

Production: 1.7 million barrels per day

Burgan Field is the world’s second-largest oil field and one of the world’s oldest – discovered in 1937 and started production in 1948. Situated in the desert of southeastern Kuwait, it’s 500km from Ghawar Field in Saudi Arabia.

3. Gachsaran Field

Location: Iran

Estimated recoverable oil (past and future): 66 billion barrels

Production: 480,000 barrels per day

Iran’s second largest oil field, Gachsaran is also operated by National Iranian Oil Company. Operating since 1930, Gachsaran field has 66 billion barrels of recoverable oil – and produces 480,000 barrels per day.

4. Bolivar Coastal Field

Location: Venezuela

Estimated recoverable oil (past and future): 30-32 billion barrels

Production: 2.6-3 million barrels per day

The largest oil field in Venezuela (and second largest in the world by current daily output), Bolivar Coastal Field is located off the coast of Texas. The field has been a pivotal contributor to domestic oil production thanks to its offshore location.

5. Safaniya Oil Field

Location: Saudi Arabia

Estimated recoverable oil (past and future): 30 billion barrels

Production: 1.2 million barrels per day

A major off-shore oil field, Safaniya Oil Field in the Persian Gulf spans approximately 65 kilometres long and 15 kilometres wide, with an anticline structure. Characterised by a series of NW-SE trending structures, it arises from uplifting activity prompted by the Zagros reverse fault.

6. Kashagan Field

Location: Kazakhstan

Estimated recoverable oil (past and future): 30 billion barrels

Production: 400,000 barrels per day

With experts predicting the Kashagan Field will produce two million barrels per day by 2024, this is one of Kazakhstan’s largest oil fields. Located just off the Caspian Sea, the Kashagan Field development has faced challenges due to its harsh environment and complex geology as an offshore oil field. Despite this, it began production in 2016 and has so far made a substantial impact on Kazakhstan’s oil output.

7. Aghajari Field

Location: Iran

Estimated recoverable oil (past and future): 28 billion barrels

Production: 440,000 barrels per day

Another major oil field in Iran, Aghajari Field, possesses a complex geological structure. Despite this, it has played a significant role in Iran’s global position as a top oil-producing nation.

8. Tengiz Field

Location: Kazakhstan

Estimated recoverable oil (past and future): 26-40 billion barrels

Production: 650,000 barrels per day

Tengiz Field is operated by Chevron and boasts a high volume of oil reserves. Extraction involves advanced techniques, including sour gas recovery. To get Tengiz Field where it is today and provide enhanced production, it has undergone extensive development.

9. Ahvaz Field

Location: Iran

Estimated recoverable oil (past and future): 25 billion barrels

Production: 750,000 barrels per day

Discovered in 1958, the Iranian super-giant oil field has 25 billion barrels of recoverable oil. It’s made up of three main subsurface structures, known as the Asmari, Bangestan, and Khami formations. Currently, the output of crude oil production is 800,000 – operated by the National Iranian South Oil Company.

10. Upper Zakum Oil Field

Location: UAE

Estimated recoverable oil (past and future): 21 billion barrels

Production: 750,000 barrels per day

Upper Zakum Oil Field is one of the largest off-shore oil fields. Its significant reserves and advanced extraction technologies contribute to its impressive daily output, making it a cornerstone of the United Arab Emirates oil industry. At the current development rates, Upper Zakum Oil Field could increase production to 1 million barrels daily by 2024. 

11. Cantarell Field


Estimated recoverable oil (past and future): 18-35 billion barrels

Production: 160,000 barrels per day

Cantarell Field is made up of four fields. The off-shore field is renowned for its high volume of oil reserves, with challenging reservoir conditions, including high pressure and complex geological features. Despite this, Cantarell has been a significant contributor to Mexico's oil production.

12. Daqing Field

Location: China

Estimated recoverable oil (past and future): 16 billion barrels

Production: 600,000 barrels per day

The rich reserves and substantial daily production at Daqing Field have historically propelled China’s economic growth, entering full-scale production in 1963. It’s the largest oil field in the country – with 16 billion barrels of past and present recoverable oil.

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