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Global oil consumption

Global oil demand grew by 1.6 mn barrels per day in 2015, the highest level seen since 2010. Developing nations continued to increase their share of global oil consumption

The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that global oil consumption will grow by an average of 1.2 million barrels per day until 2021 and reach the level of 100 million barrels per day in 2020.

Global oil consumption, mn barrels/day
Source: IEA
Petroleum production consumption, mn barrels/day
Source: U.S. EIA
Top oil consuming countries in 2015, %
Source: U.S. EIA
Global demand for oil by sector, mn TOE
Source: BP Energy Outlook 2035: February 2016

The transportation sector accounts for more than half of all the oil consumed in the world with road transportation making up the lion’s share. Passenger cars account for the bulk of fuel consumed, thus the global vehicle-to-population ratio continues to be the biggest factor in terms of maintaining and increasing demand for oil and petroleum products.

Global energy consumption by transport in 2012, %
Source: U.S. EIA
Global petroleum production
consumption, %
Source: U.S. EIA

The global economy once again saw moderate growth in 2015. Slowed economic growth in China continued to put pressure on oil prices. China’s GDP turned out to be lower than expected in 2015: for the year the economy expanded by 6.9%, the lowest growth seen in the last 25 years. However, demand for petrol in China continued to grow rapidly since it depends on the country’s rate of car ownership as opposed to GDP growth.

Chinese GDP dynamics, % vs. previous year
Source: World Bank

The decline in oil prices and, as a result, petroleum product prices was reflected in consumption — increased fuel sales in the U.S., China and India led to the highest growth rates in oil consumption in five years (source: https://www.iea.org/oilmarketreport/omrpublic/currentreport/).

The U.S. set all-time records for car sales thanks to low fuel prices and EU countries also saw a sharp increase in car sales in 2015 despite the fact that the U.S. and European automotive markets are mature and not capable of ensuring increased demand for fuel in the long term. At the same time, the level of car ownership in China, India and other developing nations is well below that of developed nations and offers great potential for growth. As a result, growth in the consumption of petroleum products and oil in the global economy remains a stable trend that will prevail in the long term.

The level of car ownership in China, India and other developing nations is well below that of developed nations and offers great potential for growth.

Number of passenger cars per 1,000 people
Source: India (2013, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways), China (2015, Ministry of Public Security), Germany (2016, Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt), U.S. (2013, Center for Transportation Analysis (CTA) in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory)