China became the worlds largest energy consumer in
2010, overtaking the US during a year that saw the rebound in
the global economy drive consumption higher and at a rate not
seen since the aftermath of the 1973 oil price shocks. Demand
for all forms of energy grew strongly in 2010 and increases in
fossil fuel consumption suggest that global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy use rose at
their fastest rate since 1969. The growth in energy consumption
was broad-based, with both mature Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) economies and non-OECD
countries growing at above-average rates. The figures come from
the publication of the 60th annual BP Statistical Review of
There were both structural and cyclical factors at
work, said Bob Dudley, BP chief executive. The
cyclical factor is reflected in the fact that industrial
production rebounded very sharply as the world recovered from
the global downturn. Structurally, the increase reflects the
continuing rapid economic growth in the developing world. I was
in China a couple of weeks ago and I came away with a very
clear sense of how rigorously China is thinking about these
issues. Growth is by no means the only game in town. They want
to maintain social cohesion and they want to make their growth
more sustainable. In sum, they are worried about energy
security and climate changejust as we are.
Overview. The strong rebound of global
energy consumption in 2010 followed the recent global
recession. Consumption growth reached 5.6%, the highest rate
since 1973. It increased strongly for all forms of energy and
in all regions. Total consumption of energy in 2010 easily
surpassed the pre-recession peak reached in 2008.
Economic growth was led by the non-OECD economies
which had suffered least during the crisis. By year-end,
economic activity for the world as a whole exceeded pre-crisis
levels driven by the so-called developing world, said
Christof Rühl, BPs group chief economist.
Globally, energy consumption grew more rapidly than the
economy, meaning that the energy intensity of economic activity
increased for a second consecutive year. The data imply that
global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel
consumption will also have grown strongly last year.
Demand in OECD countries grew by 3.5%, the strongest growth
rate since 1984, although the level of OECD consumption remains
roughly in line with that seen 10 years ago. Non-OECD
consumption grew by 7.5% and was 63% above the 2000 level.
Consumption growth accelerated in 2010 for all regions, and
growth was above average in all regions. Chinese energy
consumption grew by 11.2%, and China surpassed the US as the
worlds largest energy consumer. Oil remains the
worlds leading fuel, at 33.6% of global energy
consumption, but it continued to lose market share for the 11th
Global oil consumption grew by 2.7 million bpd, or 3.1%, the
strongest growth since 2004.
The growth rate was more than twice the ten-year
average; it featured the first increase in OECD oil consumption
since 2005 and the largest volumetric increase outside the OECD
ever, Mr. Rühl said. China contributed the
largest national increment; its consumption rose by 860,000 bpd
or 10.4%. The United States, Russia, and Brazil also recorded
The strong recovery in oil consumption was accompanied by
strong growth in production though the increase was not as
large as the increase in consumption. Growth was broadly split
between OPEC and non-OPEC producers. In OPEC, Nigeria and Qatar
accounted for the largest increases. Among non-OPEC producers,
China saw the largest increase in the countrys
history due to rising offshore output. Russia and the US also
contributed significantly, while Norway experienced the
worlds largest production decline, said Mr.
Oil prices remained in the $7080 range for much of the
year before rising in the fourth quarter. With the OPEC
production cuts implemented during the global recession in
2008/09 still in place, and despite informal production
increases in the face of the strong recovery in consumption,
average oil prices for the year as a whole were the
second-highest on record. However due to the high prices, oil
saw the weakest consumption growth among fossil fuels last
Natural gas. BP noted that natural gas
consumption rose 7.4%, which it said was the strongest
volumetric gain on record. Non-OECD economies expanded their
share to over 51%; China solidified its role as Asias
largest gas market. The report points out that OECD markets
grew rapidly too, with consumption attaining all-time highs.
Production rose 7.3%, also a record increment. 31% of this
global growth originated in the former Soviet Union, followed
by the Middle East.
The shale gas revolution in the US and massive changes
in LNG markets are reshaping the world of natural gas,
said Mr. Rühl. Over the last five years, global LNG supply
grew by a cumulative 58%three times faster than total gas
production. And last year, the supply of LNG expanded by an
unprecedented 22.6% (55 bcm).
Other fuels. Like all other fuels, coal
consumption growth was above average in 2010rising by
7.6% (250 million toe). The shift toward non-OECD consumption
continued, with China and India increasing coal use by 10.1%
(157 million toe) and 10.8% (27 million toe). OECD coal
consumption also rose by 5.2% (54.1 million toe), the fastest
rate for 31 years and hard on the heels of a decline of more
than 10% in 2009. Among all the fossil fuels, coal consumption
grew the fastest.
Renewables. Biofuels production grew by
13.8%, or about 240,00 bpd, largely in the US and Brazil.
Renewables in power generationincluding wind, solar,
geothermal energy and commercial biomassgrew by 15.5%,
with OECD countries accounting for most of the growth though
Chinas output from renewables grew by 75% and accounted
for the second-largest increment after the US. Combined, these
sources met 1.8% of the worlds energy needs, a market
share which has tripled in the past decade.
Over the last five years, their contribution to world
primary energy growth was almost 10%that is, higher than
the contribution of petroleum-based products, said Mr.