Global Oil Consumption: A Reality Check

on August 26, 2013 at 4:00 PM

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That global oil demand hit record levels last year is not breaking news. But the US Energy Information Administration highlighted an important trend today, one that features in conversations about the future of energy consumption perhaps less frequently than it should.

Demand growth in Asia, Central and South America and other regions has been strong enough to more than offset falling consumption in the US and Europe. And demand is projected to hit a new record next year.

Key Points:

  1. Global consumption of oil products – gasoline, jet fuel, etc – hit a record 88.9 million barrels per day last year.
  2. North American consumption has been on the decline since 2005. European consumption began to decline a year later, in 2006.
  3. Asia overtook North America as the region with the greatest thirst for oil in 2009. “If China’s use of petroleum continues to grow as projected, it is expected to replace the United States as the world’s largest net oil importer this fall,” the EIA said.