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News Extra: BP Statistical Review shows significant shifts in global energy production and consumption in 2014

01 July 2015

The 2015 edition of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, launched on June 10, highlights how significant changes in global energy production and consumption have had profound implications for prices, for the global fuel mix, and for global carbon dioxide emissions.

Stock image
Stock image

The 64th annual edition of the Statistical Review emphasises the continuing importance of the US shale revolution, with the US overtaking Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer and surpassing Russia as the world’s largest producer of oil and gas.

On the consumption side, the Statistical Review records primary energy consumption slowing markedly, with growth of just 0.9% in 2014, a lower rate than at any time since the late 1990s (other than in the immediate aftermath of last decade’s financial crisis). Chinese growth in consumption slowed to its lowest level since 1998 as its economy rebalances away from energy intensive sectors, though China remained the world’s largest growth market for energy.

BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley said: “The eerie calm that had characterised energy markets in the few years prior to 2014 came to an abrupt end last year. However, we should not be surprised or alarmed. These events may well come to be viewed as symptomatic of a broader shifting of the tectonic plates that make up the energy landscape, with significant developments in both the supply of energy and its demand. Our task as an industry is to meet today’s challenges while continuing to invest to meet tomorrow’s demand, safely and sustainably.”

The shifts in production and consumption had major effects on energy prices as well as the fuel mix. For oil, prices have fallen sharply, largely driven by the strength of supply as non-OPEC production grew by a record amount while OPEC maintained its output levels to maintain market share.

Elsewhere, the growth of China’s coal consumption stalled and global natural gas growth was also weak, held back by a mild European winter triggering a sharp fall in consumption.
Renewables were the fastest growing form of energy, accounting for one third of the increase in overall primary energy use during a year in which global primary energy consumption growth slowed. Even so, they accounted for only 3% of primary energy.

Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy use grew by just 0.5%, the weakest since 1998 (other than in the immediate aftermath of last decade’s financial crisis). The slower growth relative to its average over the past 10 years or so was largely attributable to the changing pace and pattern of Chinese economic growth.

Review highlights
*  Growth of global primary energy consumption decelerated markedly in 2014, even though global economic growth was similar to 2013. Energy consumption increased by just 0.9% in 2014, a sharp deceleration over 2013 (+2.0%) and well below the 10-year average of 2.1%.
*  Consumption increased for all fuels, reaching record levels for every fuel type except nuclear power. Production increased for all fuels except coal. 
*  Emerging economies continued to dominate the growth in global energy consumption, as they have on average over the past decade, but growth in these countries (+2.4%) was well below its 10-year average of 4.2%. 
*  Chinese consumption growth (+2.6%) was the slowest since 1998, yet China still recorded the world’s largest increment in primary energy consumption for the fourteenth consecutive year. OECD consumption experienced a larger than average decline (-0.9%), with weakness in the EU and Japan offsetting above-average growth in the US. The fall in EU energy consumption was the second-largest percentage decline on record (exceeded only in the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2009). Energy consumption in the EU fell to its lowest level since 1985.
*  Growth was significantly below the 10-year average for Asia Pacific, Europe & Eurasia, and South & Central America.
*  Oil remained the world’s leading fuel, with 32.6% of global energy consumption, but lost market share for the fifteenth consecutive year.
*  Energy price developments in 2014 were generally weak, with oil and coal prices falling globally. Gas prices fell in Europe, were relatively flat in Asia, and rose in North America.

The BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2015 is available at: www.bp.com/statisticalreview


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