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June 18, 2008

Global Oil Production Fell by 0.2% in 2007, Says BP

Global oil production fell by 126 thousand barrels per day in 2007, dropping to 81.5 million barrels per day, according to a new report from BP. The BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2008, released on June 11, also notes that global oil consumption grew by 1 million barrels per day in 2007, a 1.1% increase that brought total petroleum consumption to 85.2 million barrels per day. In other words, oil demand exceeded the supply by 3.7 million barrels per day, a difference made up by drawing from stocks and by substituting biofuels for petroleum products. In fact, according to the BP statistics, oil demand has been exceeding the supply since at least 1997, when the difference was 1.4 million barrels per day. Meanwhile, the world's proved oil reserves fell by 1.6 billion barrels in 2007 due to declines in Mexico, Norway, Qatar, and Syria that were only partially offset by gains in Brazil, Egypt, and Russia. But that's a drop of only 0.115%, because global proved oil reserves are at 1.39 trillion barrels. According to BP, oil production declines are caused by political issues, not geological factors, as oil companies are having trouble gaining access to oil reserves. See the BP press release and the BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

The online version of the statistical review also includes a section on renewable energy, and BP notes that the global renewable energy industry continued to expand rapidly in 2007. According to the company, geothermal, wind, and solar power accounted for 1.5% of global electricity generation in 2007, but among developed countries, these renewable resources have provided 16% of the electricity generation growth for the past 3 years. While geothermal capacity grew by only 1.5% in 2007, wind power capacity grew by 26.5%, marking the fourth consecutive year of accelerating growth. Lacking current data on solar power, BP reports that solar generating capacity grew by 33% in 2006. BP also notes that solar generating capacity has nearly doubled every 2 years since 1996, when the company first started tracking the industry. Regarding biofuels, BP reports that global ethanol production increased by 27.8% in 2007, to 920 thousand barrels per day. That's an increase of about 200 thousand barrels per day, an amount that's greater than the drop in global oil production. See the renewable energy section of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy Web site.

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