Many measurement units are exclusively used in the oil and gas industry. One of these units is MMBBLS. It means one million barrels of oil

While it looks like an abbreviation of many terms, it simply indicates one million barrels of crude oil. It has been used in the oil industry since the inception of oil extraction and refinement in the US. It’s an essential unit of measurement as most countries, states, and companies measure oil in terms of barrels and produce millions of them daily. 

What is MMBBLS?

MMBBLS is a unit of measurement and means one million barrels of oil. The M in MMBBLS comes from the Latin word ‘mille,’ which means thousand, whereas BBL means barrel. 

In the oil industry, MBBL or MBBLS is used for thousand barrels, whereas MMBBL or MMBBLS for one million barrels. However, this crude oil unit is also used in the Stocks industry as oil companies report their production in MMBBLS. 

How Much is a Barrel of Oil?

To understand how much oil is one million barrels, it’s essential to know how much one barrel of oil is. 

Today, one oil barrel equals 42 US gallons or 159 liters. 

So, MMBBL is roughly equivalent to 42 million US gallons or 159 million liters of oil. 

You may be interested to know how the barrel came to be used as a standard unit in the oil industry. Back in the mid-19th century, when the first oil well in Pennsylvania started, there wasn’t any particular unit of volume for oil, nor was there any standard container. 

Barrels of all kinds were used to transport liquids, so naturally, oil was transported in barrels. At the time, whiskey was transported in 40-gallon barrels, and most oil producers also started using these barrels for oil. 

In 1886, the 40-gallon barrel was standardized as the unit of volume of oil with an additional two-gallon allowance. By the early 1970s, a 42-gallon barrel became the standard oil barrel and has been used for measuring oil production to this day. 


MMBBLS is used extensively in the oil industry for estimating and measuring oil in different capacities. For instance, MMBBLS can also represent oil reserves in a specific field or perhaps in a country as a whole. 

The unit of volume is not limited to measuring oil production but also oil import, export, and usage.

What is BPD?

You’ll come across another term BPD along with MBBLS and MMBBLS. BPL stands for barrels per day. This is a unit or term used for oil production of a well, field, state, or country, as in how many barrels of oil a particular well produces. 

It’s a common term that indicates the production capacity of a reservoir or well, as well as the actual production from it on a daily basis. 

For instance, the oil production in the US reached 12.9 BPD in December 2019 due to shale oil. 

BPD is also written as BOPD, bbl/d, and b/d. 

The production of a well, field, or country can vary based on various factors. These may include the remaining reserves in a particular well, maintenance activities, market price fluctuations, and geopolitical reasons. 

At times, low production results from circumstances beyond the control, and oil production is deliberately slowed down or sped up to increase or decrease oil prices in the market. 

However, for the most part, oil prices are dependent on the barrels per day being produced worldwide. Following the standard demand and supply principles, if countries are producing a low number of barrels per day, the prices would be high, and if the countries are producing a high number of barrels per day, the prices would be low. 

Since BPD is in millions typically, especially in oil-producing countries, BPD can be represented by MMBBLS. For instance, Saudi Arabia has been producing nearly 12 million BPD (or 12 MMBBLS per day) on average since 2016. 

Why Do We Use MMBBLS in Oil Industry?

There’s an abundance of oil both on land and offshore, and rock formations of oil typically contain anywhere from tens to thousands of millions of barrels of oil. 

While for ease of transportation and calculation, barrel or bbl is used. However, it’s too small a volume unit to be used for entire fields or reserves. Therefore, MMBBLS comes in handy when talking about millions of barrels of oil. 

Other Units of Oil Around the World

BBLS (barrels), MBBLS (thousand barrels), MMBBLS (million barrels), and BPD (barrels per day) are normally used in the US. Other oil-producing and oil-importing countries around the world typically use the SI system of measurements. So these countries measure crude oil by cubic meters (m3). 

So how much is a barrel in cubic meters (m3)?

One bbl = 0.158 m3

By that calculation, MMBBLS is equivalent to 158,000 m3.

However, the barrel has become popular for reporting oil production worldwide. International media also reports oil production in barrels or, more specifically, BPD. 

Stock exchanges in Europe use tonnes for oil instead of barrels. And ton is a unit of mass, not volume. So the actual volume may vary by the type of oil. 


MMBBLS (also just MMBBL) is a unit of volume used for oil and represents one million barrels, where a barrel is equal to 42 gallons. It’s used to describe oil reserves, production, and trade. 

It may be used in documents like oil leases or other agreements regarding a well or oil field. However, this unit is commonly used in the US, where the barrel is the standard oil unit.