1. Home
  2. Energy economics
  3. Statistical Review of World Energy
  4. Oil

Oil

Oil demand in 2017 continued to be driven by oil importers benefitting from the windfall of low prices, with both Europe (0.3 Mb/d) and the US (0.2 Mb/d) posting notable increases, compared with average declines over the previous 10 years
PSVM turret


“To put the recent strength of oil demand in context, average growth over the past five years is at its highest level since the height of the commodity super-cycle in 2006-07. This was despite all the talk of peak oil demand, increasing car efficiency, growth of electrical vehicles.”

Spencer Dale, chief economist

Oil demand growth (annual change, mb/d)
Oil demand growth (annual change, mb/d)
Oil supply growth (annual change, mb/d)
Oil supply growth (annual change, mb/d)

Oil reserves

Global proved oil reserves in 2017 fell slightly by 0.5 billion barrels (-0.03%) to 1696.6 billion barrels, which would be sufficient to meet 50.2 years of global production at 2017 levels.

 

Higher reserves in Venezuela (up by 1.4 billion barrels) was outweighed by declines in Canada (-1.6 billion barrels) and smaller declines in a number of other non-OPEC countries. OPEC countries currently hold 71.8% of global proved reserves.

 

Note: Lags in reporting official data mean that 2017 figures for many countries are not yet available.

Reserves to production (R/P) ratios – 2017 by region (years)
Reserves to production (R/P) ratios – 2017 by region (years)
Reserves to production (R/P) ratios – history (years)
Reserves to production (R/P) ratios – history (years)

 

Sources
The estimates have been compiled using a combination of primary official sources, third-party data from the OPEC Secretariat, World Oil, Oil & Gas Journal and independent estimates of Russian reserves based on official data and Chinese reserves based on official data and information in the public domain. Canadian oil sands 'under active development' are an official estimate. Venezuelan Orinoco Belt reserves are based on the OPEC Secretariat and government announcements.

 

Oil production

World oil production rose by only 0.6 million b/d in 2017, below average for the second consecutive year.

 

Production fell in the Middle East (-250,000 b/d) and South & Central America (-240,000 Kb/d) but this was outweighed by growth from North America (820,000 b/d) and Africa (390,000 b/d).

 

After growing by 1.3 Mb/d in 2016, output by OPEC and other members of the Vienna group fell [0.3 Mb/d] last year as the cuts in production took effect. In contrast after falling in 2016, oil countries outside the Vienna group grew by 1.5 Mb/d, led by the US and a bounce back in Libya (which was not part of the Vienna agreement).

Oil production by region (million barrels daily)
Primary energy regional consumption by fuel 2017 (percentage)

Oil and oil product consumption

Oil demand grew by 1.7 Mb/d – similar to that seen in 2016 and significantly greater than the 10-year average of around 1.1 Mb/d.

 

Oil consumption

Not surprisingly, oil demand in 2017 continued to be driven by oil importers benefitting from the windfall of low prices, with both Europe (0.3 Mb/d) and the US (0.2 Mb/d) posting notable increases, compared with average declines over the previous 10 years. Growth in China (0.5 Mb/d) was closer to its 10-year average. China and the US were the single largest contributors to growth.

Oil consumption per capita 2017 (tonnes)
Oil consumption per capita 2017 (tonnes)

Oil product consumption

Growth in consumer-led fuels most exposed to oil price movements – especially gasoline – slowed in 2017. In contrast, diesel demand bounced back, buoyed by the acceleration in industrial activity.

Oil prices

Dated Brent averaged $54 p/b, in 2017 up from $44 p/b in 2016, the first annual increase since 2012.

 

Prices drifted lower during the first half of 2017 as stocks remained stubbornly high. But as the OPEC and Vienna group production cuts started to bite and inventories began to fall, prices increased.

Crude oil prices ($ per barrel | world events)
Crude oil prices ($ per barrel | world events)
Rotterdam product prices ($ per barrel)    
                                      
Rotterdam product prices ($ per barrel)
Source: S&P Global Platts, ©2017, S&P Global Inc.
Product differentials to crude (Rotterdam products minus dated Brent) ($ per barrel)
Product differentials to crude (Rotterdam products minus dated Brent) ($ per barrel)
Source: S&P Global Platts, ©2017, S&P Global Inc.

Refining

Refinery throughput growth averaged 1.6 million b/d, up from only 0.5 million b/d in 2016.

 

Growth was driven by China (570,000 b/d), the US (410,000 b/d) and Europe (370,000 b/d) which outweighed a decline of 280,000 b/d in South & Central America. Global refining capacity growth was 0.6 million b/d, below average for the third consecutive year, with China and India the main contributors to growth. As a result, refinery utilization rose from 82.5% to 83.7% – the highest in nine years. Utilisation in South & Central America fell to 66.1% – the lowest since 1985.

Refinery utilization (percentage)

Refinery utilization (percentage)
Regional refining margins ($ per barrel)
Regional refining margins ($ per barrel)

Sources
Refinery capacity and throughput includes data sourced from ICIS.

Oil trade movements

Global oil trade grew by a very strong 4.3% (or 2.8 Mb/d) in 2017, well above the 10-year average growth of 1.7% and a third consecutive above-average year.

 

Oil trade as a share of global consumption reached a record 68.8%. China, the world’s largest net oil importer, saw net imports rise by 11.5% (0.9 Mb/d) to reach a record 9.1 Mb/d. Russia was the largest net exporter in 2017 (8.6 Mb/d, a slight increase from 2016).

Oil major trade movements 2017 – trade flows worldwide (million tonnes)
Oil major trade movements 2017 – trade flows worldwide (million tonnes)