Eni: Global oil demand up 3.4% in 2010; Russia leads producers

By OGJ editors

Oil demand during 2010 rose to 87.9 million b/d, up 3.4% from 2009, driven by developing countries' population and per capita income growth and by government subsidies to oil product prices, Eni SPA said in the tenth edition of its World Oil and Gas Review. WOGR is a statistical review of oil and gas consumption, production, reserves, imports, and exports.

Russia regained its position as the world’s leading gas producer with production of 624.61 billion cu m (bcm)/year, after having been surpassed by the US in 2009. Still, the US reached a new historical production peak of 600.15 bcm/year, driven by shale gas output. Total US gas production increased by 19.4% between 2005 and 2010, the report said.

Qatar confirmed its position as the fastest growing gas producer, Eni said, with output growth exceeding 150% between 2005 and 2010 due to the rapid development of the world's largest capacity for LNG.

In 2010, global gas consumption grew sharply, up 7.5%. The report found that gas use climbed by 9% outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and by 5.8% in OECD countries.

Oil market

With average demand of 19.5 million b/d last year, the US remains the world’s primary oil consumer, followed by China. In 2010, Chinese oil demand averaged 9.4 million b/d, a historical peak and a 12% jump from a year earlier, according to Eni.

Worldwide oil production recovered in 2010, up 2.3% from a year earlier, although output in Europe continued to fall, down by 8.1%, due to field depletion.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries accounts for 40% of total oil production, stable since 1995. OPEC reported the largest production growth in the last year, up 3% vs. growth of 1.8% for non-OPEC producers, according to the report.

Russia was the leading oil producer last year, with output averaging 10.45 million b/d, followed by Saudi Arabia, the US, Iran, and China.

Oil reserves continued growing, Eni said, confirming the trend recorded over the last decade. Middle East reserves account for more than 50% of worldwide oil reserves, while OPEC accounts for about 72%. Oil reserves grew in the Americas due to unconventional oil reserves additions.

This edition of WOGR also features an analysis of world crude quality, ranking about 90% of global crude supply by density (API grade) and sulfur content. Eni reported that 2010 once again saw medium-sour crude as the main source of world oil production, followed by light and low-sulfur crude.

Refining analysis

The review also includes a description of the refining industry. By analyzing recent trends, the review shows how an increase in conversion capacity triggered new tension in refining, since medium-sour crude supply did not increase at the same rate as demand.

Moreover, the opening of new capacity in a weak economic context has meant a relative decrease in utilization rates for refineries. During 2005-10, average global refinery utilization rates decreased to 80% from 85%, in particular in the industrialized countries, while in India, for example, the new megarefineries work at almost full capacity, the report said.

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