BP: US tops China in oil consumption growth for first time since 1999

At 400,000 b/d, the US recorded the largest increment to global oil consumption in 2013, outpacing Chinese growth, 390,000 b/d, for the first time since 1999, according to BP’s 63rd annual Statistical Review of World Energy released June 16. Worldwide oil consumption rose 1.4 million b/d, just above the historical average. However, global oil production failed to keep pace with the growth in global consumption, rising just 560,000 b/d.

Countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) accounted for 51% of global oil consumption and once again accounted for all of the net growth in global consumption. OECD consumption declined 0.4%, the seventh decrease in the past eight years.

With a 1.1 million b/d increase in 2013, the US recorded the largest increase in the world and the largest annual increment in the country’s history for a second consecutive year, driven by the massive investment in production from shale and other tight formations.

“The huge investments seen in the US have been encouraged and enabled by a favorable policy regime, and this has resulted in the US delivering the world’s largest increase in oil production last year,” said Christof Ruhl, BP chief economist. He described the US’s increase as “one of the biggest annual oil production increases the world has ever seen.”

The US also accounted for 96% of the non-OPEC output increase of 1.2 million b/d – the strongest since 2002 – to reach a record 50 million b/d. Global proved reserves of oil increased to 1,687.9 billion bbl at year-end 2013, sufficient to meet 53.3 years of global production, BP said.

Natural gas production, consumption

With a 1.3% increase in 2013, the US remained the world’s leading producer of natural gas, but both Russia, at 2.4%, and China, at 9.5%, recorded larger growth increments, BP said. However, growth was below average in all regions except Europe and Eurasia. Global gas trade rose 1.8% in 2013, well below the historical average of 5.2%. Pipeline shipments, meanwhile, increased 2.3%.

Global proved gas reserves increased to 185.7 trillion cubic meters, sufficient to meet 54.8 years of global production, BP said. LNG’s share of global gas trade declined slightly to 31.4% and international gas trade accounted for 30.9% of global consumption.

World gas consumption increased 1.4%, below the historical average of 2.6%. Consumption growth was above average in OECD countries, rising 1.8%, and below average outside the OECD increasing 1.1%.

Growth was below average in every region except North America. China, up 10.8%, and the US, up 2.4%, recorded the largest growth increments in the world, together accounting for 81% of global growth. India, dropping 12.2%, recorded the largest volumetric decline in the world, while European Union gas consumption fell to the lowest level since 1999.

Globally, gas accounted for 23.7% of primary energy consumption. Global gas production rose 1.1%, which was well below the 10-year average of 2.6%.

Global energy demand

Global energy demand accelerated in 2013, but, reflecting the weakness of the global economy, the 2.3% growth remained slightly below the historical average. BP pointed out that shifts in energy consumption mirrored those in the world’s economic patterns.

Energy consumption in emerging economies increased below their long-term average rate, up 3.1%, driven by slower growth in China. But consumption in the mature economies of the OECD expanded by a higher-than-average rate of 1.2%, entirely as a result of strong growth in the US. As a result the gap between growth in the OECD and non-OECD narrowed to levels not seen since 2000.

US growth of 2.9% accounted for all of the net increase in the OECD and consumption in the EU and Japan fell 0.3% and 0.6%, respectively. Nonetheless, the emerging economies continue to dominate the growth in global energy demand, accounting for 80% of growth last year and nearly 100% of growth over the past decade. Disruptions in oil production, such as those in Libya, were offset by US’s production increase. As a net result, average oil prices remained unusually stable, albeit at levels exceeding $100/bbl for a third consecutive year.

While BP noted that oil remains the world’s leading fuel, with 32.9% of global energy consumption, it lost market share for the 14th consecutive year in 2013 and its current market share is once again the lowest in the company’s data set dating back to 1965.


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