Middle East

Energy consumption in the Middle East grew at the fastest rate of any region, with natural gas now the dominant fuel. Oil production in the region set a record high for the second consecutive year

Fast facts

  1. Middle East energy consumption grew by 4.2% - the fastest of any region in 2015.
  2. Oil exports from the region rose by 670 kb/d as Iraqi and Saudi production hit record levels.
  3. Natural gas exports fell by 3.6% after a sharp decline in gas production in Yemen.

+6.2% Growth in Middle East natural gas consumption

6.7% Middle East share of global energy consumption

+1.5mb/d Growth in Middle East oil production

  • Middle East energy consumption increased by 4.2% in 2015, slightly below its 10-year average (+4.5%) but faster than all other regions.
  • Oil consumption rose by 220 kb/d, or 2.1%. Growth was driven by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with demand in Iran declining.
  • Almost half of primary energy consumption in the Middle East was sourced from natural gas; its share rose from 48.9% in 2014 to 49.9% in 2015, overtaking oil (with 48.1% share).
  • Natural gas consumption rose by 29 Bcm to 490 bcm at a rate of 6.2%, slightly higher than the 10-year average (+5.8%). Iran contributed the most to growth.
  • Electricity generation grew by a below-average 3.5% but still much faster than GDP (+1.6%).
  • Energy intensity (the amount of energy required per unit of GDP) rose by 2.6% to a new high. In comparison, global intensity fell by 2.0%.
  • Over the past 10 years, energy intensity in the Middle East has risen at 0.9% per annum, while global intensity has fallen at 1.6% per annum.
  • Oil production in the Middle East rose by 1.5 mb/d to a new high of 30.1 mb/d. Iraq (+750 kb/d) and Saudi Arabia (+510 kb/d) provided the largest contributions to growth. Iraqi production reached a record high of 4.0 mb/d.
  • Crude oil exports from the region rose by 560 kb/d (3.2%), driven mainly by Iraq. Product exports increased by 120 kb/d (4.2%) as Saudi Arabia and the UAE ramped up refinery production.
  • The Middle East made up 44% of all inter-regional crude oil exports and 14% of oil products.
  • Over 75% of Middle Eastern oil exports headed to Asia Pacific, although Europe did increase its oil imports from the region by 590 kb/d (mainly crude oil from Iraq).
  • Natural gas production rose by only 3.1%. Production in Yemen fell by 71.5% as conflict in the country disrupted supplies.
  • The loss of Yemeni production also hit regional gas exports (pipeline and LNG), which fell 5.7 bcm or 3.6%. Qatar remained the largest LNG exporter at 106 bcm - almost a third of global LNG exports.

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