Fossil fuels

Source: BP Statistical Review 2022, published by Visual Capitalist January 31, 2023

Coal Production

If all the coal produced in 2021 were arranged in a cube, it would measure 2,141 meters (2.1km) on each side—more than 2.5 times the height of the world’s tallest building.

China produced 50% or more than four billion tonnes of the world’s coal in 2021. It’s also the largest consumer of coal, accounting for 54% of coal consumption in 2021.

RankCountry2021 Coal Production
(million tonnes)
% of Total
#1 China4,126.050%
#2 India811.310%
#3 Indonesia614.08%
#4 U.S.524.46%
#5 Australia478.66%
#6 Russia433.75%
#7 South Africa234.53%
#8 Germany126.02%
#9 Kazakhstan115.71%
#10 Poland107.61%
In comparison, we mined 3,04 billion tons of iron ore, 0,207 billion tons of other industrial metals and 0,0013 billion tons of precious metals and rare earths.

India is both the second largest producer and consumer of coal. Meanwhile, Indonesia is the world’s largest coal exporter, followed by Australia.

In the West, U.S. coal production was down 47% as compared to 2011 levels, and the descent is likely to continue with the clean energy transition.

Oil Production

In 2021, the United States, Russia, and Saudi Arabia were the three largest crude oil producers, respectively.

RankCountry2021 Oil Production
(million tonnes)
% of Total
#1 U.S.711.117%
#2 Russia536.413%
#3 Saudi Arabia515.012%
#4 Canada267.16%
#5 Iraq200.85%
#6 China198.95%
#7 Iran167.74%
#8 UAE164.44%
#9 Brazil156.84%
#10 Kuwait131.13%

OPEC countries, including Saudi Arabia, made up the largest share of production at 35% or 1.5 billion tonnes of oil.

U.S. oil production has seen significant growth since 2010. In 2021, the U.S. extracted 711 million tonnes of oil, more than double the 333 million tonnes produced in 2010.

Natural Gas Production

The world produced 4,036 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2021. The above graphic converts that into an equivalent of seven billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to visualize it on the same scale as oil and gas.

Here are the top 10 producers of natural gas in 2021:

RankCountry2021 Natural Gas Production
(billion m3)
% of Total
#1 U.S.934.223%
#2 Russia701.717%
#3 Iran256.76%
#4 China209.25%
#5 Qatar177.04%
#6 Canada172.34%
#7 Australia147.24%
#8 Saudi Arabia117.33%
#9 Norway114.33%
#10 Algeria100.82%

The U.S. was the largest producer, with Texas and Pennsylvania accounting for 47% of its gas production. The U.S. electric power and industrial sectors account for around one-third of domestic natural gas consumption.

Russia, the next-largest producer, was the biggest exporter of gas in 2021. It exported an estimated 210 billion cubic meters of natural gas via pipelines to Europe and China. Around 80% of Russian natural gas comes from operations in the Arctic region.