The European Union uses around 1 billion barrels of oil each quarter, imported from producers in various countries and offshore around the world.
It has now decided to implement an oil embargo on Iran.
The Middle East is only the third-largest exporter of oil to Europe, and oil from Iran constitutes the second-largest quantity from that region.
Here is a look at where Europe’s oil comes from, and which countries may step in to fill the void left by the embargo on Iranian oil
These figures from the European Commission show the total number of barrels including crude, heavy and light, imported into Europe from each country between January and March 2011.
Offshore rigs are responsible for more than 40 per cent of Europe’s oil imports, supplying just under half – 400 million barrels – of Europe’s oil per quarter. The top three suppliers are:
1. The Russian Federation (277,839,000 barrels in total)
2. Kazakhstan (59,730,000 barrels)
3. Azerbaijan (39, 682,000 barrels)
The second-highest volume of oil is imported from Africa, which provides just over 200 million barrels per quarter, mostly from:
1. Libya (85,187,000 barrels)
2. Nigeria (51,417,000 barrels)
3. Algeria (21,105,000 barrels)
Africa’s contribution comprises 21 per cent of total imports.
A further 20 per cent comes from within Europe – with almost 200 million barrels supplied by:
1.Norway (111,306,000 barrels)
2. The United Kingdom (47,687,000 barrels)
3. Other European countries
The Middle East is fourth, providing just over 130 million barrels, or 14 per cent, in the first quarter of 2011. The main suppliers are:
1. Saudi Arabia (60,109,000 barrels)
2. Iran (39,322,000 barrels)
3. Iraq (17,782,000 barrels)
Just over 2.5 per cent of Europe’s oil comes from the Americas, with Mexico and Venezuela the main suppliers.