Biggest fall in oil use since 1982, says BP

GLOBAL oil consumption in the developed world fell by 1.6 per cent last year &mdash; the largest drop since 1982 &mdash; and the decline is set to continue, said BP chief executive Tony Hayward.<br /><br />Presenting the firm&rsquo;s annual Statistical Review of World Energy he said world oil consumption fell by 420,000 barrels a day in 2008. <br /><br />Hayward said: &ldquo;This is not a temporary phenomenon but one that I believe will only increase still more over time.&rdquo;<br /><br />Hayward said global oil production will eventually diminish because demand will collapse, not because the commodity will run out as has long been suggested.<br /><br />&ldquo;Our data confirms that the world has enough proved reserves of oil, natural gas and coal to meet the world&rsquo;s needs for decades to come,&rdquo; he added.<br /><br />The report also showed that countries worst hit by the gloabl downturn reflected that in falling demand for crude.<br /><br />Oil consumption in the US fell by 6.4 per cent, which was a significant effect given that it still consumed 22.5 per cent of the world&rsquo;s oil.<br /><br />Between them, the 30 industrialised countries that make up the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) consumed 3.5 per cent less oil. <br /><br />The survey also says for the first time ever the developing world, led by China and India, overtook the OECD nations.<br /><br />Hayward said 51 per cent of oil demand came from non-OECD nations last year as Western nations turned to alternative energy sources and used better and better energy efficiency technologies. <br /><br />According to the report, known oil reserves in the world stand at 1.3 trillion barrels, excluding Canadian oil sands &ndash; enough for 42 years of consumption at 2008 production rates. It also said gas reserves will last another 60 years and coal another 122 years.