BP’s 2015 edition of its Statistical Review of World Energy 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. The 64th annual edition of the review highlights 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.
When it comes to consumption, the review records primary energy consumption slowing markedly, with growth of just 0.9% last year, a lower rate than at any time since the late 1990s. 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.
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 emissions from energy use increased by only 0.5%, the weakest since 1998. 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.
Growth of global primary energy consumption slowed markedly last year, even though global economic growth was similar to 2013. Energy consumption increased by only 0.9% in 2014, a sharp deceleration over 2013 and well below the 10 year average of 2.1%.
Consumption increased for all types of fuels, reaching record levels for every fuel type except nuclear power. Production increased for all fuels except coal.
The growth in the global energy sector was dominated by emerging economies, as they have on average over the past 10 years. However, growth in these countries was well below the 10 year average of 4.2% at 2.4%.
In China, consumption growth was the slowest since 1998 at 2.6%. However, China still recorded the world’s largest increment in primary energy consumption for the 14th consecutive year. OECD consumption experienced a larger than average decline at 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. Energy consumption in the EU fell to its lowest level since 1985. For Asia Pacific, Europe, Eurasia and South and Central America, growth was significantly below the 10 year average.
Oil maintained the top spot and is still the world’s leading fuel, with 32.6% of global energy consumption. However it lost market share for the 15th consecutive year.
Energy price developments last year were generally weak as oil and coal prices fell globally. Gas prices fell in Europe, but were relatively flat in Asia and rose in North America.
Edited from press release by Claira Lloyd
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