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The Top Oil Producing Nations

Unrest in the Middle East has put investors on high alert as crude oil prices move seemingly with every development in the region.

In order to understand the effect of those events on both US and global oil markets, a key figure to watch is the amount of crude oil produced daily in each country. With data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), a division of the Department of Energy, CNBC.com took a look at the countries that produce the most crude oil on a daily basis. Production is defined as extraction from the Earth’s crust, prior to the refining process.

The numbers that follow are the most recent available from the EIA, dating from November 2010, unless otherwise noted. As a result, the numbers represent daily production levels of countries under normal circumstances prior to the recent events in the Middle East.

Interestingly, Libya ranks as only the 17th largest oil producer in the world and imported 32,000 barrels of crude per day to the United States in December 2010, representing an average of approximately 0.37% of daily US crude imports that month.

So, which countries produce the most crude oil? Click ahead for the top 15.

By Paul ToscanoPosted 3 Mar 2011

Photo: Harald Sund | Image Bank | Getty Images || Source: Energy Information Administration, Department of Energy