Below you can see and compare the revenues of the largest arms exporters (New York Times) with the revenues of the largest oil exporters (Statista). You can see that the arms exports are peanuts when compared to the oil exports. The US is the largest arms exporter with 36 billion dollars of revenue in 2014, while Saudi Arabia is the largest oil exporter with 246 billion dollars of revenue a year. Note that no arms exporter is willing to sell arms to non-allies, while oil exporters do not give a damn about who is going to buy their oil.
Largest Arms Exporters (See New York Times “U.S. Foreign Arms Deals Increased Nearly $10 Billion in 2014”, December 2015)
Largest Oil Exports (OPEC) See Picture 1 from Statista “OPEC* net oil export revenue streams in 2014, by member country (in billion U.S. dollars)”
OPEC Oil Revenues 2014 (Statista)
Note that the list with the oil exports only includes OPEC members, and therefore it does not include Russia, Canada, Norway and Mexico, who are not OPEC members. Iran is not included either, even though it is a member of OPEC.
OPEC is the international oil cartel, and most oil exporting countries are its members, in an attempt to coordinate and reduce their oil production to increase oil prices. However it is not always easy for them to coordinate their productions, because each member has a motive to steal a market share from the other members, by agreeing to cut its production but not actually doing so.
Map of the International Oil Cartel (OPEC)
***Note: According to CNBC the gross Saudi revenue from oil was $444 billion for 2015, and that’s 23% lower than the 2014 one due to lower prices. See
“Saudis unveil radical austerity program”, December 2015
“U.S. Foreign Arms Deals Increased Nearly $10 Billion in 2014”, December 2015
“OPEC* net oil export revenue streams in 2014, by member country (in billion U.S. dollars)”