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2014 in review

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Last year, consumption increased for all fuels, hitting record levels for every fuel type except nuclear power; production increased for all fuels except coal. BP has also said that for oil and natural gas, global consumption growth was weaker than production. The data suggests that global CO2 emission from energy grew at their slowest rate since 1998, other than in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis.

According to BP, emerging economies accounted for all of the net growth in energy consumption, as they have on average over the past decade, although growth in these countries was well below its 10 year average. Chinese consumption growth was the slowest since 1998, however China still recorded the world’s largest increment in primary energy consumption for the 14th consecutive year. OECD consumption experienced a larger than average decline, with weakness in the EU and Japan offsetting above average growth in the US. Energy consumption in the EU fell to its lowest level since 1985.

Energy price developments in 2014 were generally weak and oil and coal prices fell globally. Gas prices fell in Europe and were relatively flat in Asia, but rose in North America. The annual average price for Brent crude declined reflecting a sharp drop in prices in the second half of the year. The differential between Brent and the US benchmark WTI narrowed, BP has said, but remained elevated relative to past levels. As with crude oil prices, differentials between North American and international gas prices generally narrowed but remained wider than historical levels.

Energy developments

Last year, global primary energy consumption increased by only 0/9%, a marked deceleration over 2013 and well below the 10 year average of 2.1%. Growth last year slowed for every fuel other than nuclear power, which was also the only fuel to grow at an above average rate. Growth was significantly below the 10 year average for Asia Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, and South and Central America. Oil remained the world’s leading fuel, with 32.6% of global energy consumption, but lost market share for the 15th consecutive year.

Even though emerging economies continued to dominate the growth in global energy consumption, growth in these countries was well below its 10 year average of 4.2%. China saw 2.6% and India 7.1% and both recorded the largest national increments of global energy consumption. OECD consumption fell by 0.9%, which was a larger fall than the recent historical average. A second consecutive year of robust US growth was more than offset by declines in energy consumption in the EU. The fall in EU energy consumption was the second largest percentage decline on record.

Edited from press release by Claira Lloyd

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