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 (www.worldwatch.org) 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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