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Global oil demand in 2017 grew fastest in a decade


Global oil demand rose by 1.5 million barrels a day in 2017, growing at 1.6 per cent, more than twice the average annual growth rate seen in a decade, International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its report.

The Paris based agency said in its Global Energy and CO2 status report 2017 that more than 60 per cent of the growth in oil demand came from Asia, with China and India being the biggest demand centres. It added that one of the main drivers of growth was the transport sector and petrochemical sector.

The report said that even though electric cars are making rapid inroads, particularly in China, which is leading in global sales of electric cars the strong growth in electric-car sales remains too small to make a dent in oil demand growth.

IEA reiterated that a slowdown in oil demand growth may be likely in the coming years. However, it adds that there are no signs of a peak in demand anytime soon.

“One of the main drivers of growth was the transport sector. Vehicle ownership levels increased in 2017, as did the share of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and other large vehicles. Another reason behind robust demand growth is oil used as a petrochemicals feedstock,” IEA said.

Natural gas demand also clocked a 3 per cent growth in 2017, significantly above the average growth of 1.5 per cent in the last five years on the back of relatively low-cost supplies as well as fuel-switching in key economies, the report said.

China which has been trying to cut down its reliance of coal accounted for 30 per cent of the total growth in global demand of natural gas.

It adds that half of the global gas demand growth came from the power sector in the past decade but, in the year 2017 over 80 per cent of the growth came from industry and buildings.

The report indicates that the composition of gas demand is changing, with majority of demand growth shifting from the power sector to industry and buildings. It adds that the power sector’s share as the largest consumer of natural gas may decline gradually.

4 Comments on "Global oil demand in 2017 grew fastest in a decade"

  1. dave thompson on Sat, 24th Mar 2018 2:46 am 

    “Global oil demand in 2017 grew fastest in a decade”
    So then are we transitioning to alt energy or not? All indicators say no.

  2. twocats on Sat, 24th Mar 2018 7:43 am 

    Copy the link to this article because it will be the sole rebuttal needed for about 80% of the articles we see on Peak Oil Demand – which are a large part of the “Peak Oil” news we see in the world today.

    I wonder if this large uptick in demand is partly due to the propaganda of the “peak oil demand” narrative we’ve seen for the past two or three years actually working. I mean – maybe everyone believes that everyone else is about to stop using fossil fuels so its okay for [me] to start using them.

    I also think Natural Gas reserves are in danger of getting seriously clipped. If globally we are converting everything over to natural gas heating, electricity, and transportation fuel (city buses etc) to reduce coal and oil, right as unconventional peak oil hits we are going to have already accelerated towards peak natural gas as well.

    cheers!! /sarc

  3. rockman on Sat, 24th Mar 2018 9:18 am 

    twocats – I still have a bit of a problem with the terminology. IOW what’s the difference between oil “demand” and oil consumption? From every article I’ve seen written demand = consumption. So why use a new term when we have an existing one? Best I can tell it’s for spin purposes: alternative are/will decrease demand. Which really means a decrease in consumption. But using “consumption” instead of “demand” doesn’t play as well with the spin effort.

    Obviously there is one factor that dominates demand/consumption. A factor that so far out weighs alt development and efforts to deal with climate change. And it’s the price of oil. Despite all the hype the price of oil will continue to determine oil demand/consumption for many, many years to come IMHO. Which brings us full circle back to the primary difficulty with predicting long term changes in demand/consumption: the inability to accurately predict the price of oil in the distant future. Which is exactly why those several years ago predicting a future of decreasing oil “demand” have been proven so wrong: they did not see the decline of oil prices that was coming.

    And the future? Well, if oil price continue to increase: SHAZAM!!! The predictors of a future decrease in oil demand will be correct this time. And it won’t necessarily have anything to do with EV’s or efforts to “save the planet.”

  4. twocats on Sat, 24th Mar 2018 7:42 pm 

    Rmon – agreed – and it gets worse if you put any credibility in the idea that oil prices can have an effect on economic growth (too high pushes growth down, etc). Because renewables aren’t an input, they’re an output. And if the economy isn’t doing well then probably renewables aren’t doing well, which will prevent replacement on future consumption – which means high oil prices can soon lead to increased consumption.

    its a dynamic system of prices feeding into and out of each other.

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