Global Oil Consumption Hit Record High in 2010 - Demand Outpaces Supply Increases By One-Third

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photo: Mars Karochikin/Creative Commons

Some illuminating new stats on global oil production, consumption, and the shifting landscape of oil producing nations: Upstream Online reports that global oil consumption was up in 2010, bucking the trend for the two previous years under the grips of the Great Recession, increasing 2.7 million barrels per day to a new record high of 87.4 mbd--however, increases in global oil production fell short of that by 900,000 barrels per day. In other words, rising supply isn't keeping pace with rising demand--something which everyone from the US military, to the IEA, to oil industry execs, and plenty of doom and gloom peak oil researchers (who likely will be more accurate than the techno optimists out there) have been saying for some time.

Exemplifying that growing supply and demand gap, and the dwindling supply of easy to get oil accompanied by the rise of tar sands and other so-called unconventional sources of fossil fuels, is Norway.

Once in the top 10 oil producing nations of the world, and one of the few nations which managed to escape the resource curse of oil while also having solid green credentials, in 2010 Norway's oil output dropped more than any other nation, by 9.4% to roughly 2.1 million barrels per day. It now occupies the 13th position.

Something which obviously doesn't sit well with Statoil, which has just released a statement saying that it expects to raise production "to above 2.5 million barrels of oil equivalents per day by 2020" and is positioned for long term growth.

The rejiggered oil production rankings now have Russia leading the world (10.27 mbd) and Saudi Arabia in second (10 mbd). The US produces 7.5 mpd (and consumes a bit under three times that). China is now in fifth place, seeing the largest increase in production, with a bit over 4 million barrels per day.

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