Biggest fall in oil use since 1982, says BP
GLOBAL oil consumption in the developed world fell by 1.6 per cent last year — the largest drop since 1982 — and the decline is set to continue, said BP chief executive Tony Hayward.
Presenting the firm’s annual Statistical Review of World Energy he said world oil consumption fell by 420,000 barrels a day in 2008.
Hayward said: “This is not a temporary phenomenon but one that I believe will only increase still more over time.”
Hayward said global oil production will eventually diminish because demand will collapse, not because the commodity will run out as has long been suggested.
“Our data confirms that the world has enough proved reserves of oil, natural gas and coal to meet the world’s needs for decades to come,” he added.
The report also showed that countries worst hit by the gloabl downturn reflected that in falling demand for crude.
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’s oil.
Between them, the 30 industrialised countries that make up the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) consumed 3.5 per cent less oil.
The survey also says for the first time ever the developing world, led by China and India, overtook the OECD nations.
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.
According to the report, known oil reserves in the world stand at 1.3 trillion barrels, excluding Canadian oil sands – 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.