Middle East

The Middle East remained the world’s largest oil-producing region in 2016 and accounted for all of the net growth in global production of oil and of crude oil exports

Fast facts

  1. Oil production grew by 5.7%, or 1.7 Mb/d in 2016, driven by increases in Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
  2. Natural gas production grew by 3.3%, or 21.9 Bcm in 2016.
  3. Primary energy consumption grew by 2.1%, less than half the 10-year average growth rate of 4.5%.

+2.1% Growth in Middle East energy consumption

6.7% Middle East share of global energy consumption in 2016

+5.0% Growth in Middle East energy production

  • Increasing consumption of natural gas (+3.5%), oil (+0.9%), nuclear energy (+75.3%) and renewable energy (+42.0%) outweighed declines in hydro (-20.5%) and coal (-9.5%).
  • Natural gas remained the region’s leading fuel; its share of total consumption hit a record 51.5%. Oil’s share dipped to 46.7%.
  • Natural gas consumption growth was driven by increases in Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE; oil consumption growth was led by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
  • The share of fossil fuels in Middle East primary energy was 99.2%, the highest of any region and well above the world average of 85.5%.
  • Renewables in power generation grew by 42.0% but accounted for just 0.1% of primary energy consumption in 2016.
  • Power generation increased by 1.9%, well below the 10-year average of 5.7%.
  • Energy intensity (the amount of energy required per unit of GDP) declined by 0.4%; the region remains the world’s most energy-intensive.
  • The three largest national increases in global oil production were in Iran (+700 Kb/d), Iraq (+430 Kb/d) and Saudi Arabia (+360 Kb/d). Oil production reached record levels in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the UAE and Oman.
  • The Middle East accounted for all of the growth in global crude exports and nearly half the increase in refined product exports. Crude exports rose by 1.6 Mb/d while (gross) product exports grew by 450 Kb/d.
  • The Middle East made up 46% of global crude oil exports and 17% of refined product exports.
  • 73% of Middle East oil exports were shipped to the Asia Pacific region; Europe was the destination for 13% of the region’s oil exports.
  • Natural gas production growth was led by Iran (+6.6%) and Saudi Arabia (+4.4%).
  • Middle East LNG exports increased by 1.9 Bcm (+1.3%) driven by an increase from Qatar, the world’s largest LNG exporter.

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