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Country insight – US

US oil and gas consumption and production growth accelerated in 2018 at a record pace, solidifying the US as the world’s largest oil and gas producer

Fast facts

1    Over the past five years the US has added 5 Mb/d to oil supplies (the equivalent of Canada) and around 176 bcm to gas supplies (the equivalent of Qatar)


2    Renewables’ generation share reached 10% for the first time in 2018, up from 6% five years ago. Yet the US still contributes to 15% of global CO2 emissions

16.6% – Increase in oil production
Increase in oil production
21.5% – US share of global gas supply
US share of global gas supply
+9.8% – Growth in non-hydro renewables generation
Growth in non-hydro renewables generation
+2.6% – Growth in carbon dioxide emissions
Growth in carbon dioxide emissions

At a glance

  • Energy consumption increased at 3.5% p.a after stagnating for the past three years.
  • Oil remained the dominant source of energy at around 40%. Natural gas consumption increased the most (up 11%) while coal consumption fell almost 5%.
  • Oil demand grew by 2.5% last year, well above the 1.5% trend seen over the past five years and despite the $15/b increase in oil prices.
  • Gas consumption increased by more than 10% (78 Bcm) last year, far in excess of the 2% seen in the prior decade and on par with annual gas consumption in the UK.
  • Gas output has grown by 176 bcm over the past five years, the size of Qatar’s current output. The US solidified its role as a net gas exporter, doubling its net exports since last year to 14 bcm. 
  • LNG exports increased over 65% last year and now account for 6.6% of global LNG exports.
  • The growth rates in oil and gas output exceeded any other country’s annual increase in our 50-year history.
  • The US holds less than 4% of the world’s oil and 6% of gas reserves, but now accounts for over 20% of global gas supply and 16% of global oil supply.
  • Generation from renewables reached to over 10% of total US generation and more than half of current nuclear output, but this gain in renewables was slightly below the 15% average growth seen in the past two years.
  • Renewables consumption in the US accounted for almost 19% of global renewables consumption.
  • After four years of improvements in energy intensity (the amount of energy required per unit of GDP) the trend reversed in 2018.
  • Carbon intensity (the amount of carbon emitted per unit of energy) continued to improve at a rate of 0.9%, a slower pace than the 1.3% seen over the past decade.
  • Net oil imports fell 1.5mb/d ( 38%) to just 2.8mb/d in 2018 as exports of crude and other petroleum products increased.
  • After a shortlived rebound in 2017, coal output fell by almost 2% in 2018.