Growth In Global Oil Market Slows

September 2012, Vol. 239 No. 9

Global oil consumption increased by 0.7% in 2011 to reach an all-time high of 88.03 million bpd, according to research conducted by Worldwatch Institute ( for its Vital Signs Online service.

This rate of increase was considerably slower than 2010 when consumption rose by 3.3% after falling 1.3% in 2009 due to the global financial crisis.

China’s oil consumption increased by 5.5% in 2011 as China accounted for about 85% of global net growth in oil use. An increase in oil consumption of 5.7% in the former Soviet Union contributed 37% of net growth. These increases were offset by declines in the United States and European Union, where oil consumption fell by 1.8% and 2.8% respectively, said Worldwatch Climate and Energy Research Associate Shakuntala Makhijani.

To meet continued growth in demand, global oil production rose for the second year in a row, by 1.3% in 2011, to reach 83.58 MMbpd.  Most of this increase was driven by higher production in countries that belong to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which overall grew by 3% in 2011. Oil production in non-OPEC countries fell slightly by 0.1%. Oil production growth was slow compared with natural gas and coal production, which grew by 3.1% and 6.1%, respectively, in 2011.

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