London: Global oil consumption fell by 420,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2008, the biggest decline since 1982, BP said on Wednesday in the latest edition of its annual statistical review of world energy.
Fuel use continued to increase in emerging economies, notably China, which consumed an extra 260,000 bpd, but the developed world used much less. OECD consumption dropped by 1.5 million bpd, led by a 1.3 million bpd fall in the US, the world’s biggest fuel burner.
The drop in demand in developed countries coincided with record high prices, which rose to a peak of nearly $150 last July for US crude before crashing down to just above $30 in December as the world sank into financial crisis and oil supply outstripped demand.
“In 2008, the world was no longer supply constrained as production growth exceeded that of consumption for all fossil fuels, particularly later in the year,” BP chief executive Tony Hayward said in his introduction to the review.
“Our data confirms the world has enough proved reserves of oil, natural gas and coal to meet the world’s needs for decades to come. The challenges the world faces in growing supplies to meet future demand are not below ground, they are above ground,” he said.
Oil production increased by 380,000 bpd to 81.8 million bpd, the statistical review said.
Although the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to implement output cuts late last year, its 2008 production was still 990,000 bpd higher.
Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest member, pumped 400,000 bpd more, while production from non-OPEC Russia dropped by 90,000 bpd, the first decline since 1998, and OECD output fell by 750,000 bpd.
Mexican oil production, which shrank by 310,000 bpd, experienced the biggest decline.
The annual review said the world’s proven oil reserves fell by 3 billion barrels to 1.258 trillion barrels by the end of 2008 from a revised 1.261 trillion at the end of 2007.
Declines in countries including Russia, Norway and China offset increases in Vietnam, India and Egypt.