Page last updated at 16:35 GMT, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 17:35 UK

First fall in oil use since 1993

Drill on a BP oil rig - copyright BP
Oil production grew but consumption declined in 2008

Global oil consumption fell by 420,000 barrels a day, or 0.6%, in 2008, the first fall since 1993 and the biggest drop since 1982, according to BP.

Its annual statistical review said global production had grown by 0.4%.

But proven oil reserves fell for the first time for a decade, falling by 3bn barrels to 1.258 trillion barrels

Average oil prices rose during 2008 for the seventh year running, which BP said had not happened before in the 150-year history of the oil industry.

Oil prices peaked above $140 a barrel in July before falling by more than 70% by the end of the year. However, they have doubled since the beginning of 2009.

Tony Hayward - copyright BP
For a sixth consecutive year, coal was the fastest-growing fuel, with obvious implications for global carbon dioxide emissions
Tony Hayward, chief executive, BP

BP's chief executive Tony Hayward said he was not worried about the fall in oil reserves.

"Our data confirms that the world has enough proved reserves of oil, natural gas and coal to meet the world's needs for decades to come," he said.

"The challenges the world faces in growing supplies to meet future demand are not below ground, they are above ground. They are human, not geological."

Coal and nuclear

In other power sources, world coal consumption rose by 3.1%, while average prices rose 73%.

"For a sixth consecutive year, coal was the fastest-growing fuel, with obvious implications for global carbon dioxide emissions," Mr Hayward said.

Chinese coal consumption rose 6.8%, Indian consumption grew 8.4% and Russia added 8.1%.

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Consumption in developed countries dropped 1.9%.

Global coal production grew 5.3%.

Output of nuclear energy fell 0.7%, largely due to a 10% fall in Japanese production following an earthquake in 2007.

Recession effects

The countries worst hit by the downturn reflected that in falling demand for oil.

Oil consumption in the US fell by 6.4%, which was a significant effect given that it still consumed 22.5% of the world's oil, while Iceland's oil consumption fell by 9.1%.

Between them, the 30 industrialised countries that make up the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development consumed 3.5% less oil. It was their third consecutive year of falling demand.

Consumption rose strongly in Africa, China, India and the Middle East.

On the production side, the members of the oil producers' cartel Opec extracted 990,000 barrels per day (bpd) or 2.7% more in 2008 than they had in 2007, led by Saudi Arabia, which pumped 400,000 more.

Russian production fell 90,000 bpd, the first time it had dropped since 1998.

Non-Opec production fell 2.0%.

Graph of oil production by region

Map of oil consumption per head



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