This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 11, 2003

BP Report: World Oil Supply Comfortably Exceeds Demand

The world's supply of oil is more than sufficient to meet demand, even when disruptions occur in oil-producing countries, says a new report from BP. The company released its 52nd annual "BP Statistical Review of World Energy Use" on June 10th. A look at the report makes one fact clear: the Middle East has much greater oil reserves than the rest of the world. While most areas of the world have only 10 to 40 years of proven oil reserves at their current rate of oil production, the Middle East has 92 years of proven oil reserves, guaranteeing its dominance of world oil markets far into the future.

World energy use increased 2.6 percent in 2002, well ahead of the 10-year growth trend of 1.4 percent per year. China was largely responsible for the increased growth; in China alone, energy use increased nearly 20 percent, much of which was met with coal. Chinese coal consumption grew 28 percent in 2002, causing world use of coal to increase 7 percent. See the BP press release or go directly to the full report.

Although the full report does not include non-hydro renewable energy sources ("because of problems with the completeness, timeliness, and quality of data"), the BP Web site includes a brief summary, noting that although renewable energy provided only 2.5 percent of the world's energy needs in 2000, wind and solar energy have both increased more than ten-fold over the last decade. Worldwide, roughly 32,000 megawatts of wind power are now installed, and solar power capacity is just under 1,000 megawatts. See the BP renewables page, and note the left-hand column links to pages about wind and solar energy.