Leading oil demanding sectors in the OECD 2018

Road transportation is the greatest oil demanding sector in OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) member states. In 2018, nearly half of all oil consumed in the OECD was related to motor vehicle usage. Rail and domestic waterways had the lowest share, at roughly 1.7 percent.

Global crude oil demand

The United States and China are the greatest oil consumers worldwide. In 2019, daily oil consumption in these countries amounted to 19.4 million barrels and 14.1 million barrels, respectively.
Daily global crude oil demand , including biofuels, reached 100.1 million barrels in 2019 following years of steady growth. However, due to economic constrictions and mobility impacts as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, annual average oil demand is forecast to decrease by around 10 million barrels for 2020. Further, these changes are projected to extend until the end of 2021, as travel and tourism activities are not expected to see a fast recovery.

Crude oil prices

As demand fell across the world so did major crude oil prices. In April 2020, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark recorded its lowest ever level, at negative 37.63 U.S. dollars per barrel. Although it has since recovered to around 40 U.S. dollars, these prices are still far lower than those seen pre-Covid and threaten the long-term health of the oil industry.

Distribution of oil demand in the OECD in 2018, by sector*

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Release date

November 2019

Survey time period


Age group

Supplementary notes

* The OECD stands for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which is an intergovernmental economic organization with 36 member countries.
Figures have been calculated based on total figures, which were represented in million barrels per day.

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Statistics on "Global oil industry"

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