Global oil refinery capacity 1970-2019

In 2019, the world's oil refinery capacity reached over 101 million barrels per day. Overall, global refinery capacity has more than doubled in the past fifty years and experienced the largest growth during the 1970s.

Production, demand, and refineries

Since the turn of the millennium, global refinery capacity has grown at a more consistent rate than oil production. However, refinery capacity has not been sufficient in keeping up with rising demand. Refineries in the United States have been particularly stretched by the drastic increase in extraction of shale oil over the past decade, in which time the United States has quickly become the leading producer of oil in the world.

Consumption expanding in Asia

While historically Europe, Eurasia, and North America have been the largest consumers of petroleum, regional distribution is shifting as consumption rises rapidly in Asia. China is currently the second-largest consumer of oil in the world, following the United States.

Refinery capacity for crude oil worldwide from 1970 to 2019

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Release date

June 2020



Survey time period

1970 to 2019

Supplementary notes

This statistic was compiled using several editions of the report.

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Statistics on "OPEC"

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