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List of the top 10 Countries that Consume the Most Oil.

Updated on January 25, 2013

Oil is one of the most important commodities used in the modern world today. Wars have been fought over it and will probably continue to be. It can a source of great wealth, or a life long obsession never to be struck by some. It is a controversial but necessary fuel for business and for the economy. It has been the cause of many an ecological disaster and creates great debate amongst environmentalists and politicians.

I thought it would be interesting to compare some data concerning the worlds oil consumption, oil production and oil reserves. In this article I have compiled a list of the worlds top 10 oil consuming countries, some of the information I came across was pretty predictable and it was nothing more then I suspected, however there were a few surprises along the way. I hope the information I have found intrigues and interests you, as much as it did me.

1. The United States.

Famously the Americans are known for their competitive nature and their drive for wanting to be the best. However I'm not sure anyone would be proud of this achievement. The United States of America is the country at the top of the oil consumption list, using over 900,000,000 tonnes of oil. They are the third biggest producer of oil globally, but are not even featured in the top ten countries for oil reserves. In there defense, I can appreciate that in regards to the sheer volume of land mass that they need to travel across, and their vehicle orientated culture, it's easy to see where all the oil is being used. Unfortunately they may face greater fuel problems later on, if they do not start investing in renewable and sustainable energy, and they will not be able to enjoy cheap fuel prices if they have to start buying oil abroad.

2. China.

China is second on our list with their oil consumption at over 300,000,000 tonnes. This however was also to be expected, China has the largest population in the world, boasting over a billion. They are one of the largest users of automobiles and they manufacture most of the worlds goods. China is also a 'BRIC' country along with Brazil, Russia and India. So we can expect there place in the global market to significantly increase and for goods from China to increase in price over the next few years. China are 6th in the world for oil production, but again like the United states they are not featured in the top 10 countries for their oil reserves.

3. Japan.

This was a bit of a surprise for me to discover, I suspected they would feature but I wasn't expecting them to be this high. Japan consume over 200,000,000 tonnes of oil. They are a hub of business and technological buzz, which would explain in some way, why they feature here at the 3rd spot. Interestingly Japan don't place at all in the top 10 oil producers or top 10 oil reserves. However they are instrumental and active in new ways of producing energy and in electric vehicle production, so they may not have to worry about oil in the future.

4. Russia.

Russia consume over 130,000,000 tonnes of oil, but again there land mass is vast, even after selling Alaska they still have plenty to call their own. They are the country with the 7th greatest oil reserves and the worlds second largest oil producer. They are also part of the 'BRIC' countries alongside Brazil, India and China. So we can expect to see them play a more significant role in global trade over the next few years.

5. Germany.

Germany is located at the center of Europe and their economy is greatly influenced by their location. They are in an ideal location for transporting goods in and around Europe. Germany as a nation consume over 120,000,000 tonnes of oil. Germany are not on the top 10 list of either oil producers or for their oil reserves. Unless they can find a viable alternative they may find themselves paying higher fuel prices in the future.


India has one of the greatest populations and it's predicted to grow at a continued high rate for the next few years. There purchasing of vehicles has increased and their eduction nationally has improved greatly. They consume over 110,000,000 tonnes of oil and this is set to rise so I expect them to move up the list over time. India are not one of the top ten oil producers or countries renowned for their oil reserves, but because they are one of the 'BRIC' countries alongside Brazil, Russia and China they will be in a better financial situation in the future and will be able to keep consuming oil at a greater rate.

7. South Korea.

Consuming over 105,000,000 tonnes of oil, South Korea features 7th in this list. Not what I would have initially have expected to discover, however they have embraced western culture to a substantially grater degree then North Korea and have grater purchasing power. South Korea will also be hosting the 2018 winter Olympics in the city pyeongchang. Similarly South Korea does not have a place in the top ten oil producing countries or top ten countries with the best oil reserves.

8. Canada.

Like Russia, and its neighbor the United States of America, Canada has a huge amount of land mass, which would go some way to explaining its oil consumption of over 100,000,000 tonnes. Vehicles are bought at a consistent rate but interestingly enough they are not one of the highest automobile purchases. Manufacturing is not of a particularly high rate, but their need for energy is, due to the climate. Canada are also 9th on the list of biggest oil producing countries but are not placed in any of the top ten countries for significant oil reserves.

9. France.

The French consume over 90,000,000 tonnes of oil and are the second biggest consumers of oil in Europe, second only to Germany. I'm not sure entirely why they account for such a high proportion apart from the fact that they are high exporters of wines, cheeses, champagne and other such edible substances. They have a good rate of tourism which would account for extra transport usage and they have large areas of agricultural land, which would require the use of farming machinery. France are not major oil producers and have not made the top 10 in that list nor are they in the top 10 countries for oil reserves.

10.Saudi Arabia.

Over 80,000,000 tonnes of oil are consumed by Saudi Arabia, however they are the wolds greatest oil producer and have the worlds largest oil reserves. Saudi Arabia have accumulated great wealth from their oil and according to research will continue to do so. In terms of oil availability they are at the greatest advantage globally. We can expect more construction happening in this part of the world for the foreseeable future and an increasing oil trade world wide, especially with the 'BRIC' countries that have been mentioned.

*Note; Brazil was the only one of the 'BRIC' Countries not to feature in the top ten of oil consumption, oil reserve or oil production lists.

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    • Eugene Hardy profile image

      Eugene Hardy 5 years ago from Southfield, Michigan

      You're welcomed.

    • wrenfrost56 profile image

      wrenfrost56 5 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you for taking the time to comment Eugene Hardy. :)

    • Eugene Hardy profile image

      Eugene Hardy 5 years ago from Southfield, Michigan

      Good Hub and voted up!

      Not surprising that the US of A is number in consumption, but if only we can get that down to #11 we will be better off as a country!