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By Robert Rapier on Jun 19, 2016 with 19 responses

Highlights Of The 2016 BP Statistical Review

Each year in June two very important reports are released that provide a comprehensive view of the global energy markets. The highlight of the recently-released Renewables 2016 Global Status Report (GSR) was that the world’s renewable energy production has never been higher. But the biggest takeaway from this year’s newly-released BP Statistical Review may be that the world’s fossil fuel consumption has also never been higher.

Demand for crude oil set a new all time-high in 2015. Despite all the hype about electric vehicles and peak oil demand, the world’s oil demand continues to grow unabated — growing a robust 1.9 million barrels per day (bpd) from 2014 (+1.9% year-over-year).

Global Crude Demand

But the production growth of recent years continued as well. Global crude oil production surged by 2.8 million bpd in 2015, led by a 1 million bpd increase in U.S. production. The bulk of the rest of the world’s oil production increase came from OPEC, which cumulatively boosted production by 1.6 million bpd over 2015. BP’s definition of crude oil “includes crude oil, shale oil, oil sands and NGLs (natural gas liquids – the liquid content of natural gas where this is recovered separately).”

Per this definition, the U.S. was the world’s top crude oil producer with 12.7 million bpd of oil production in 2015 (the highest production number ever recorded for the U.S., but a number that is being driven higher by natural gas liquids). Saudi Arabia was in 2nd place at 12.0 million bpd. Overproduction of crude oil has inevitably depressed oil prices, but supply and demand should tighten this year.

According to BP’s definition, the Top 10 crude oil producers in 2015 were:

Top 10 Global Oil Producers in 2015, million barrels per day

Top 10 Oil

Among the Top 10 crude oil producers in the world in 2015, only the U.S. and China consume more than they produce. Not only did the U.S. produce more oil than any other country, but U.S. production exceeded that of Africa (8.4 million bpd), Asia Pacific (8.3 million bpd), and the combined total of South and Central America (7.7 million bpd). OPEC members accounted for 41% of the world’s crude oil production in 2015.

Natural gas consumption grew by 1.7% in 2015 to an all-time high. U.S. production hit an all-time record of 74.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). The U.S. remains the world’s largest natural gas producer, far ahead of runner-up Russia’s 55.5 Bcf/d. However, the U.S. consumes approximately as much as it produces, while Russia’s 37.9 Bcf/d of consumption enables it to export huge volumes of natural gas.

The coal industry had perhaps its worst year ever, amid the largest annual consumption drop in at least half a century. Consumption in the U.S. was down a whopping 12.7%, while the world’s leading producer and consumer of coal — China — used 1.5% less of it. This marks the second straight annual decline in China’s coal consumption. In 2015, China’s 1,920 million metric tons of oil equivalent (MMtoe) of coal consumption was good for 50% of the world’s total. Prior to 2014, China’s coal consumption had grown for 15 straight years. But now China’s coal demand has declined for two straight years. China’s 29 MMtoe demand decline in 2015 was the largest on record, and was the result of flat electrical demand, higher production of renewable power, an increase in natural gas consumption, and a huge increase in nuclear power (+29%) production.

The U.S. had been the world’s 2nd largest consumer of coal, but coal demand declines in 2015 — largest in the world at 57 MMtoe — dropped the U.S. to 3rd place among the world’s coal consumers. In fact, the primary reason for the huge global demand drop for coal in 2015 was the sharp decline in U.S. coal demand. In 2015 India replaced the U.S. as the world’s 2nd largest consumer of coal. Over the past decade, U.S. coal demand has fallen by nearly 30%, while coal demand has doubled in India. Of course India has a far larger population than the U.S., so we are still well ahead on a per capita demand basis (but still behind China).

Nuclear power continues to slowly recover from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. After sharp declines in 2011 and 2012, the world has now experienced three straight years of growth in nuclear power consumption. Last year saw modest growth of 1.3% from 2014. Major increases in nuclear power consumption took place in China (+28.9%), Argentina (+23.5%), Mexico (+19.6%), the United Kingdom (+10.3%) and India (+9.5%). At the other end of the spectrum were huge declines in nuclear power production in South Africa (-25.7%), Belgium (-22.6%), Iran (-18.6%), Switzerland (-16.2%), and Taiwan (-14%).

Renewables had a record year, with strong growth in solar power (+33% year-over-year) leading the way. Wind power consumption grew 17%, while the gains by geothermal (+5%), hydropower (+1%), and biofuels (+0.9%) were modest. Across all categories, consumption of renewable power grew 15% over 2014.

Despite the record year for renewables, global carbon dioxide emissions once again set a new all-time record high. Carbon dioxide emissions in 2015 were 36 million metric tons higher than in 2014, setting a record for the sixth straight year. But perhaps the silver lining is that 2015 marked the 2nd straight year that the increase was smaller than the year before. Carbon dioxide emissions in 2013 were 505 million tons higher than in 2012, but then 2014 and 2015 respectively saw increases of 224 million metric tons and 36 million metric tons.

The other positive note in the carbon dioxide emission numbers is that the U.S. continues to lead the world in reducing emissions. In 2015, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions fell by 145 million tons, by far the largest decline of any country in the world. In comparison, Russia was in 2nd place with a decline of 64 million tons from 2014. On the other end of the spectrum was India, which led the world with a 112 million ton increase in carbon dioxide emissions from 2014. China, which has now spent a decade as the world’s leading emitter of carbon dioxide, saw a 12 million decline in emissions from 2014, its first decline in nearly 20 years. The U.S. now leads all countries in reducing emissions for the past 1-, 5-, and 10-year periods.

There are several factors behind the decline in U.S. emissions. In 2015 overall demand for energy in the U.S. fell by 20 MMtoe. This consisted of a 57 MMtoe decline in coal demand, which was partially offset by a 14 MMtoe increase in oil demand and a 21 MMtoe increase in natural gas demand (which is in many cases directly replacing coal in the power sector). Renewables chipped in an additional 5 MMtoe of demand. So, power companies switching from coal to natural gas made the single biggest contribution toward lower emissions in the U.S. in 2015, with lower overall consumption making the 2nd largest contribution.

Of course it should be noted that the U.S. is still the world’s 2nd largest overall emitter of carbon dioxide. Despite the declines, in 2015 the U.S. emitted 5.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide (16% of the global total), behind China’s 9.2 billion tons (27% of the global total) but still well ahead of India’s 2.2 billion tons. On a per capita basis, U.S. emissions are well ahead of both of these countries. The U.S. also has the greatest historical inventory of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, because we spent decades as the world’s leader emitter by far.

Nevertheless, the U.S. has made great strides in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, while emissions in developing countries continue to grow. The net result was a global increase in overall carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere in 2015. Still, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as measured by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii has been slowly accelerating for decades:


If the world is to truly turn this trend around, it’s likely going to require a different approach than those we are currently taking.

Link to Original Article: Highlights Of The 2016 BP Statistical Review

Follow Robert Rapier on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or at Forbes.

  1. By Russ Finley on June 19, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Money quote:

    If the world is to truly turn this trend around, it’s likely going to
    require a different approach than those we are currently taking.

  2. By takchess on June 20, 2016 at 7:59 am

    I am not a statistician but I know a straight line when I see one.

    • By TimC on June 20, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      My favorite straight line was when Hardy told Laurel, “You take the hammer, I’ll hold the nail, and when I nod my head, you hit it.”

      • By takchess on June 21, 2016 at 8:59 am

        Tim, I once shot an elephant in my pajamas….

        • By Russ Finley on June 21, 2016 at 11:44 pm

          …how did he get in your pajamas?

  3. By Forrest on June 20, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Didn’t they say the fossil fuel increased, may be the result of cheaper cost and larger supplies? Also, we need to put the fossil fuel legacy into perspective. Meaning all of our technology is built upon this pyramid. It is a steep learning curve, especially for low tech communities to develop alternative energy as the infrastructure, to do so, is so thin. Also, a new petrol technology can almost immediately fold or implement it’s product. Ethanol fuel, for example, is classified as superior fuel for ICE, yet all of our engineering is experienced and trained upon fossil fuels. Same for our legacy vehicle fleet and supply chain infrastructure.

    What is perplexing with all of this global man made CO2 emission accounting, is how can they ID man made CO2? How could they possible tabulate man’s contribution as were so integrated with nature? We’re told nature never changes its carbon cycle balance. I think that is a false assumption even with ice core samples. What we do not know, is how nature balances its carbon emissions.How nature reacts with increase concentrations? We do know that land use has a major impact and we do know how that can go from a negative to a huge carbon sink with man made farming agriculture or forestry practices. Consider, natures carbon cycle balances 788,000 million tons of carbon every year. Nature must be a very capable carbon balance machine. Last year we increased carbon emissions by 36 million tons or .005% of what natures handles. How can we possible assay the man made portion upon such puny percentages. How can we claim that our CO2 lasts for thousands of years as compared to natures?

    I’m a little suspicious of the environmentalist defining the problem as limited to man man CO2 when in reality it is no different than natures. They define the problem as to limit the solution to man’s activities. Their solutions demand to change the whole of society and to decrease populations. This has been the environmentalist dream for decades to put the masses to walking upon a tribal economy as opposed to the elites jetting around to enjoy nature. Think about how powerful nature is and how cheap it would be to go to work helping nature do what it does best.

    • By Forrest on June 21, 2016 at 7:00 am

      Interesting tidbit from a search engine that describes how to offset our carbon fuel CO2 emissions.

      “t’s a known fact that trees are only temporarily carbon sequesters and that by the time they start to rot, all the nasty material gets transmitted back into the atmosphere again. So why not prevent this? Thus far we’ve been held back from doing so because intervening into the natural cycle somehow doesn’t feel right. But if we only tidied up one sixth of all the tree wastage lying around on the forest floors, we’d be nearing the carbon levels emitted by burning fossil fuels.

      That’s quite a compelling idea. Climatologist Ning Zeng who works at the University of Maryland, published a paper describing the impact of clearing up forests on a the Carbon Balance and Management Journal website recently.

      Zeng’s says that to relieve forests of some of their excess debris, could lead to a recurring carbon sequestering of 10 gigatons of carbon a year. Trees and plants are believed to scrub the air free of some 60 gigatons of carbon a year. Most of that gets emitted back into the atmosphere when living organisms decompose.

      Removing one sixth of the debris before it sets out to rot away might be a hugely efficient way to prevent greenhouse gas emissions, says Zeng. So long as enough woody debris is left on the forest floors to feed new cycles and to maintain bio systems, this is a feasible solution. “

      • By Forrest on June 21, 2016 at 7:21 am

        Think of modern forestry pratices that maximize tree growth. Sawmills that sequester wood for hundreds of years per building materials. Cellulosic ethanol process than can convert a portion of forest waste to carbon neutral fuel. The reduced threat of forest fire and damaging bug investation. The increase in forest land per the good use and payback of the land.

        Also, the intelligent use of farm land that would maximize cellulose feed stock to prevent the natural rotting of vegetation and ensuing GW emissions. Consider that farm crops can be genictically engineered to greatly increase soil carbon sequestrion and increased soil fertility. That farm energy and fertilizer needs can be met with solar and wind inputs. That biochar can be utilized to lock up carbon for thousands of years and increasse efficincy of land use.

        I read a research article that claimed the biofuel cellulosic process suffers from chemical conversion efficiency as compared to petrol. The biofuel process lacks hydrogen to maximize chemical efficiency within fuel production. The researchers introduces a small quanity of hydrogen and acheived 40-60% increased fuel production. They claim a portion of lignan can be utilized to produce the hydrogen. Notice the Energy Department is working on the U.S. one billion ton biomass project. The usuable biomass within the country is 1 to 1-1/2 billion tons. What would that harvest do for fuel supply and CO2 emissions? Especially if every country followed suit?

    • By robert on June 23, 2016 at 11:01 am

      What is perplexing with all of this global man made CO2 emission accounting, is how can they ID man made CO2?

      Carbon 14. Carbon 14 has a half life of 5700 years and fossil fuels have been in the ground a couple hundred million years so have no carbon 14.

      • By Robert Rapier on June 23, 2016 at 11:10 am

        Most of the increases over the past 150 years are assumed to be a result of the fossil fuels that we are burning, but that can also be cross-checked since we do have a good idea of how much is being burned, and we know what it makes when it is burned. Actually some of it gets tied up in the ocean, so the atmospheric concentrations aren’t going up as quickly as we are burning fossil fuels. But there is a limit to what can be dissolved in the oceans (which has its own set of issues in any case).

        • By Forrest on June 23, 2016 at 5:56 pm

          It’s relatively simple math to extrapolate CO2 emissions from the combustion process, but impossible to calculate the problem. Meaning CO2 is CO2 man utilized or nature produced. By the way in no way could man make CO2. Do you think as I do that the environmentalist marketed the problem as man made? Hence man’s inventions must solve the problem. Can you I.D. anything man made/created?

          • By Forrest on June 24, 2016 at 6:08 am

            I guess that would mean the renewable sources of energy would go undetectable within atmosphere? The long history of coal fuel would be the primary suspect for historical fossil CO2 accumulations. Poor forestry and farming practices didn’t help. All three of these forces have changed and are changing radically within U.S. for improvement.

            I was viewing a PBS Autoweek show about China last night. Very interesting. First the gov’t is pushing the battery car technology not because of their wondrous leadership becoming benevolent true environmentalists. They hate Japan and chose to avoid their car technology (the hybrid) and instead chose to invest in competing technology to hurt them economically. Also, like the old Russian Politburo, an elite political class of city dwellers must be appeased as they will not stand for their city to continue such high levels of air pollution. Since China generates so much coal power, the overall carbon and pollution emissions will be higher than hybrid technology, but now the pollution is out of town and not of concern. Think of the hubris of our political leadership that claim we will lead and the rest of the world will follow. They pat themselves on the back for showing China how to invest in green.

      • By Forrest on June 23, 2016 at 5:46 pm

        That’s true, but nature could care less as well as the atmospheric global physics of warming. So, all in all the radio activity of CO2 is meaningless. Nature can process some 700 billion tons of carbon ratio active or not. This is where we need to exploit and energize, natures ability to process CO2 to photosynthesis and biomass. Also, limit natures ability to decompose. It is funny that those so dedicated to nature think the compose pile is so wonderful.

        • By Forrest on June 24, 2016 at 5:42 am

          Make that atmospheric CO2 can mantain 700b tons and land and sea organic cycle can process 70b tons per year.
          I do think all in all, what the U.S. is accomplishing is good stuff for GW and energy, however the biological side of the equation is vastly under rated.

        • By Jonathan Koomey on June 24, 2016 at 12:21 pm

          I think you missed Robert’s point. Fossil CO2 has no carbon 14 in it, while biosphere CO2 has a measurable and predictable amount of C14. That (combined with our knowledge of how much CO2 we’ve released by burning fossil fuels) is how we know the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is from fossil fuels.

          • By Forrest on June 24, 2016 at 6:04 pm

            Yes, but it is academic and knowing such is of no use. The science of GW should be driven by the physics and not from man’s history. Do we know for certain that a very minimal increased in atmospheric concentration of CO2 will forever change the weather in a way that will grossly cause harm to mankind? If we know this and conclude the harm or the cost to mankind is intolerable then, if so, how to reduce? We must understand nature is the 200# gorilla within this science. Man’s portion is not that significant, unless it is determined that the C14 radioactivity is required for nature to do its thing. I have never heard the science making this case.

            We can do some marginal improvements within our clever machinery on the fringe, that’s good if it doesn’t cost to much. Regulating our economy to a stand still may be a wrong headed approach.

            Climatologist Ning Zeng figured it out. He calculated just preventing 1/6th of our forest trees from rotting would offset all our fossil fuel use. Notice how GW science seems to be pivoting on coal, poor agriculture practices, and the continued loss of utilizing natural wood. It would appear we need to maximize logging and good forestry practices around the globe. We should be focusing on these elements first as they are not costly and improve economics.

            Some examples of concern:

            1. The eastern world practice of rice farming produce a staggering quantity of GW emissions.

            2. The worlds boreal forests are under insect attack and have very high levels of fuel storage for fire danger. The Canadian forest under insect attack is rated the world largest GW emissions zone. Shouldn’t we be working within this zone?

            3. The oceans are just now appreciated for their ability to process CO2 and the role algae play.

            4. Modern farm practices are currently being improved and evaluated. They rate as a tremendous improvement.

            5. GMO technology is just starting to design plants that can grow faster, more solar efficient, and within the ability to sequester carbon. Plants are a great solar device and work for free. Think of the major impact within a small change in grass turf maintenance for example.

            6. Cellulosic fuel could be a large driver within the economics of utilizing and energizing a most efficient biological GW reduction system. This is the zone to work within for major positive impact upon environment and the economy.

            • By Jonathan Koomey on June 24, 2016 at 6:10 pm

              Your reply makes no sense. I told you how we know that humans have pushed CO2 concentrations from 280 to 400 ppm (the changing ratio of C14 in CO2 in the atmosphere is consistent with fossil carbon being the sole cause, and it’s also consistent with what we know about carbon cycles and anthropogenic emissions). This is a technical point (i.e. a “fact”) that has nothing to do with what to do about the climate problem.

            • By Forrest on June 25, 2016 at 6:31 am

              Like I said an academic exercise. As Hilary would exclaim, “WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE”. The problem to GW concerns, as defined by science, is to much CO2 in atmosphere. It’s not limited to non C14. So, why bother to ID? The exercise I would suspect is an attempt per activist that want to control the solution by defining the problem. This way they exclude the most powerful solution, as nature is hard to regulate, tax, control, and would require little glorious central control upon human activity.

              It is interesting, that half life supply of CO2 within atmosphere is roughly 5 years as the atmospheric will get absorbed by oceans wherein the oceans will cough up about an equal amount to the atmosphere. This is interesting as the problem may be that since the ocean depths have tremendous tonnages of bicarbonate, why the low CO2 dissipation? May our oceans be the problem per increasing silt layers? It makes one think that just the easy process of shooting a special deep water bore bomb into large strata of bicarbonate lime may make a tremendous improvement.

              I would think a better long term solution would be to simply clean up the biological litter to prevent natural decay emissions. This takes more labor and improves our forests and farmland. Sure, replace and improve our devices per the use of fossil fuel combustion to minimize the harm, but don’t spend to much and don’t be fear mongered into handing your freedoms to central control.

  4. By Forrest on June 22, 2016 at 4:47 am

    Within that report there is indication of change. First considering the ample supplies and low cost of oil, the increased consumption is natural and expected outcome. Second the impact on natural gas decreasing emissions within our power generation is remarkable. N.G. is displacing the highest CO2 source fuel.The drilling technology that makes this all possible, will soon impact global production of oil and natural gas. So, what the U.S. has experienced will flow to other regions.

    The grid has been the number one polluter of CO2, but thanks to N.G. this sector has dropped to #2, below transportation. So, if the U.S. is a bellwether of energy production, we need to focus more on transportation emissions. There must be some irony here, because as the news of transportation rising in concern, the petrol industry is busy on Capital Hill flexing as much political cronyism as possible to gut statues that would increase U.S. low carbon fuel production. This at a time I read two companies have joined forces to enable the typical grain ethanol plant to produce 20% more ethanol with the same grain use. Also, reading that one major retail chain Kum & Go will have 100 gas stations selling E15 by year end and quickly update the remaining 100 stations. They claim an advantage to offer motoring public a savings of ten cents per gallon, run the fuel that race cars use, and lessen the impact on environment. When a leadership competitor takes such a position, the other stations will be forced to update and meet the challenge.

    It would be a great trend, for lowering transportation emissions, if the hybrid or plug in hybrid would gain popularity upon this E15 lower carbon fuel. Double that for the E85 flex fuel setup and especially since the cellulosic fuel is now flowing into the pump stations. This fuel has ratings of 90% less carbon as compared to plain gasoline. This scenario may very well play out upon U.S. terra firma per our leadership in ethanol production and high sales of light duty vehicles. The mild hybrid is poised well to make such an impact.

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