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Five takeaways from the U.S. energy market in 2017

Release date: June 28, 2018

From Mark Finley, BP General Manager, Global Energy Markets and U.S. Economics
1. Domestic production of oil and gas rebounded, and the U.S. remained the world’s largest producer of both fuels. Primary energy consumption grew for the first time since 2014.

 

“The U.S. remains the biggest producer of oil and natural gas in the world, and in 2017 the U.S. had the biggest increase in oil production of any country in the world, an increase of 690,000 barrels per day as shale production rebounded strongly. This growth is a reflection of the industry’s ability to keep innovating and cutting costs.”

 

2. The share of renewables in the U.S. fuel mix (including biofuels) reached a record 5.9 percent, up from 1.7 percent a decade ago.

 

“Solar grew very rapidly, by 41 percent in 2017. Even though solar had a larger percentage increase, it was still less than one-third of the output of wind in the U.S. last year.”

 

3. Coal consumption fell by 2.2 percent, coal’s share of the U.S. energy mix (14.9 percent) was the lowest on record, and consumption in absolute terms was the lowest since 1978.

 

“U.S. coal consumption fell last year; however U.S. coal production increased, and it increased because of a rebound in coal consumption elsewhere around the world. American coal producers grew production to feed that global need through exporting.”

 

4. Net oil imports fell to 4.5 million barrels per day, the lowest level since 1985 and the smallest share of consumption on record.

 

“This is an astounding statistic and development. Ten years ago, people were expecting the U.S. to become an ever-greater importer of oil. American net oil imports have gone down 8 million barrels a day. A little of that reduction has come through a decline in consumption and growth in biofuels production, but by far the biggest driver of it is growing domestic production.”

 

5. Growth in energy consumption reached 0.6 percent, while energy production grew 4.3 percent.

 

“Global consumption grew almost four times as fast as that in the U.S.; this was led by continued growth in energy demand in places like India and China.”