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Oil - global consumption in million metric tons 1970-2019

Global consumption of oil has steadily increased over the last three decades, totaling 4.45 billion metric tons in 2019, compared to 3.6 billion metric tons consumed at the turn of the century. The only decline during this period was observed during the 2008/2009 financial crisis. However, weaker economic growth and lower oil demand in recent years have driven crude oil prices down.

Regional oil consumption

As of 2019, the United States and China were the largest consumers of oil. However, consumption in the U.S. decreased when compared to the previous year. Both Europe and North America experienced a decline in their overall shares of global oil consumption. In comparison, consumption in other regions such as Africa has rapidly grown. In the United States, high consumption levels were held up by demand for petrochemicals as well as increased industrial production and demand for transportation by trucks.

What is crude oil?

Crude oil is a mixture of hydrocarbons from plant animal life that was formed under immense pressure. It generally exists in liquid form and can be found in underground pools or reservoirs, in small spaces within sedimentary rocks, and near the Earth’s surface as a tar (also known as oil sands). In turn, crude oil and other hydrocarbons in natural gases are refined to form petroleum products such as gasoline and jet fuel.

Global oil consumption from 1970 to 2019

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Release date

June 2020



Survey time period

1970 to 2019

Supplementary notes

The source specifies that consumption includes inland demand plus international aviation, marine bunkers, refinery fuel and loss. Consumption of fuel ethanol and biodiesel is also included.
Figures prior to 2008 are taken from previous editions of the report.

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