Feature Reports

Oil Producers and Consumers

© DUFOUR MARCO / TOTAL

Oil is the most widely used energy source worldwide. Oil consumption is led by demand from emerging economies, particularly in the transportation and petrochemical sectors. Oil reserves are mainly concentrated in OPEC member countries, which are the main producers worldwide. 

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Global Oil Consumption

Global oil consumption has continued to grow at a steady pace, rising 1.8% between 2016 and 2017, after increasing 1.6% between 2015 and 2016 and 1.9% between 2014 and 2015. Over the past ten years, annual growth has averaged 1.2%. At this rate, consumption may exceed the symbolic threshold of 100 million barrels a day in 2019.


Growth was driven by China (up 4%) and India (up 2.9%). Among the industrialized countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECDFounded in 1960, the OECD promotes policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world...), a significant increase was reported in Germany while more moderate growth was recorded in France, the United States and Canada. Japan saw a decline, mainly due to the development of renewable energies, the restart of nuclear plants and the country’s commitment to energy saving initiatives.

 

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Global Oil Production

The highlight of 2017 was the recovery in oil prices, which averaged $54.2 per barrelUnit of volume measurement for crude oil that is equivalent to approximately 159 liters (0.159 cubic meters)... in 2017 versus $43.7 per barrel in 2016, the first annual increase since 2012. 


Oil prices were lifted by the success of the agreements signed between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPECCreated in 1960, OPEC currently has 12 members: Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia...) and certain non-OPEC countries, such as Russia. In effect since the end of 2016, renewed in 2017 and also applicable in 2018, the agreements have introduced oil production quotas. The collapse in oil production in Venezuela (down 11.6%), mainly due to ongoing political unrest, inadvertently boosted barrel prices. 


Oil production in the United States was once again buoyed by shale oilRefers to liquid hydrocarbons extracted from oil shale (see definition) by heating, pyrolysis or hydrogenation. , whose sustained production has become a structural phenomenon that does not rely on fluctuations in barrel prices.


Following a fall of 50% between 2015 and 2016, investment in exploration and production grew 4% between 2016 and 2017.

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Global Oil Reserves

Oil reserves are an estimate of the amount of crude oilOil that has not been refined. that can be recovered at a financially feasible cost at a given time. Estimated oil reserves changed only slightly between 2016 and 2017 and the ranking of the countries with the largest reserves was virtually unchanged. The “top 5” countries are still Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Iran and Iraq.

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