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Global Energy Consumption Soars To New Heights

This week the 2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy was released, which covers energy data through 2017. It is the definitive source for global energy production and consumption figures, and a primary source of data for numerous companies, government agencies and non-government organizations.

I will take a deeper dive into the report in upcoming articles, but today I want to cover some of the highlights.

First, the report shows that the world achieved a new oil production record of 92.6 million barrels per day (BPD), which is the 8th straight year global oil production has increased. The United States was the world’s top oil producer in 2017, exceeding 13 million BPD* for the first time ever. Saudi Arabia was second at 12.0 million BPD, while Russia came in at 11.3 million BPD.

Oil consumption, which is quite a bit higher due to the inclusion of biofuels and fuels derived from coal and natural gas, also set a new record of 98.2 million BPD. U.S. consumption rose by 1.0%, and still leads the world at 19.9 million BPD. China’s demand rose by 4% to a new record of 12.8 million BPD.

Global natural gas production jumped 3.0% to a new record of 355 billion cubic feet per day. The U.S. led all countries in both production and consumption of natural gas.

Global coal consumption increased by 1.0%, but remains 3.5% below the peak reached in 2013. Coal consumption declined in the U.S. and European Union, but crept 0.5% higher in China. China remains the world’s top coal market, with the country consuming 50.7% of the world’s coal in 2017. Related: Can Oil Pull Greece Out Of Poverty?

Renewables continue to grow at a torrid pace. Global solar power consumption increased by 35%, while wind power consumption rose 17% over 2016.

But the growth of renewables wasn’t enough to prevent a new record for total fossil fuel consumption. Consequently, carbon dioxide emissions rose in 2017. Global carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.6% to a new record of 33.4 billion metric tons. Carbon dioxide emissions actually declined by 0.5% in the U.S. as more coal-fired power was phased out, but strong growth was registered in the Asia Pacific region, Europe and in Africa. Of the 18 Asia Pacific countries reported, only Japan showed a decline in carbon dioxide emissions.

In the next few articles, I will take a deeper dive and share some graphics derived from the report.

*Note that BP’s definition of “oil” includes natural gas liquids (NGLs), which have surged in the U.S. along with natural gas production. This is the primary reason BP’s oil production number is higher than numbers reported by the Energy Information Administration.

By Robert Rapier

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