2011 in review
Global energy consumption growth in 2011 moderated along with the world economy.
All of the net growth took place in emerging economies, with China alone accounting for 71% of global energy consumption growth. OECD consumption declined, led by a sharp decline in Japan – in volumetric terms, the world’s largest decline. The data suggests that growth in global CO2 emissions from energy use continued in 2011, but at a slower rate than in 2010.
Energy price developments were mixed. Oil prices for the year exceeded $100 for the first time ever (in money-of-the-day terms) and inflation-adjusted prices were the second-highest on record, behind only 1864. Crude oil prices peaked in April following the loss of Libyan supplies. The differential between Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) reached a record premium (in $/bbl) due to infrastructure bottlenecks driven by rapidly-rising US and Canadian production. Natural gas prices in Europe and Asia – including spot markets and those indexed to oil – increased broadly in line with oil prices, although movements within the year varied widely. North American prices reached record discounts to both crude oil and to international gas markets due to continued robust regional production growth. Coal prices increased in all regions.
World primary energy consumption grew by 2.5% in 2011, roughly in line with the 10-year average. Consumption in OECD countries fell by 0.8%, the third decline in the past four years. Non-OECD consumption grew by 5.3%, in line with the 10-year average. Global consumption growth decelerated in 2011 for all fuels, as did total energy consumption for all regions. Oil remains the world’s leading fuel, at 33.1% of global energy consumption, but oil continued to lose market share for the twelfth consecutive year and its current market share is the lowest in our data set, which begins in 1965.