Washington, D.C.----Global oil consumption increased by 0.7 percent in 2011 to reach an all-time high of 88.03 million barrels per day, according to new research conducted by the Worldwatch Institute for its Vital Signs Online service. This rate of increase was considerably slower than in 2010, when oil consumption rose by 3.3 percent following a decline of 1.3 percent in 2009 due to the global financial crisis.
China's oil consumption increased by 5.5 percent in 2011, and China accounted for about 85 percent of global net growth in oil use. An increase in oil consumption of 5.7 percent in the former Soviet Union contributed another 37 percent of net growth. But these increases were offset by declines in the United States and European Union, where oil consumption fell by 1.8 and 2.8 percent respectively, writes Worldwatch Climate and Energy Research Associate Shakuntala Makhijani. The gap in oil consumption between countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and all other countries narrowed further in 2011, with the two groups respectively accounting for 51.5 and 48.5 percent of total oil consumption. Oil remained the largest source of primary energy worldwide in 2011, but its share fell for the twelfth consecutive year to 33 percent. To meet continued growth in demand, global oil production rose for the second year in a row, by 1.3 percent in 2011, to reach 83.58 million barrels per day. Most of this increase was driven by higher production in countries that belong to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which overall grew by 3 percent in 2011.
Meanwhile oil production in non-OPEC countries fell slightly by 0.1 percent. Oil production growth was slow compared with natural gas and coal production, which grew by 3.1 and 6.1 percent, respectively, in 2011. Political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa had a significant effect on oil production in certain countries in the region. Output in Libya fell by 71 percent in 2011----from 1.7 million barrels per day (2 percent of global production in 2010) to just 479,000 barrels (0.6 percent of global output) due to the disruptions related to the civil