How much crude oil has the world really consumed?

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that the world consumed 96.92 million barrels per day in 2016, with the top ten consumers accounting for 60 percent of total consumption. There are almost 100 million barrels per day.

At today's average oil price of $ 60 per barrel for Brent crude, $ 5.8 billion is consumed. Each. Day.

The top three oil consumers – the United States (20%), China (13%) and India (5%) account for more than a third of the world's consumption. Of the three, only the United States is a major oil producer. Saudi Arabia and Russia, which are two of the top three oil producers in the world, rank # 5 and # 6 in terms of consumption.

Data source: EIA

But it is only today's daily average based on HVAC data from 2016. Today, we are chewing through 100 million barrels per day or more. But that has not always been the case.

According to BP's statistical review of world energy, consumption has been on a steep uphill slope for decades, starting at around 40 million barrels per day consumed in 1969.

That is the average daily price. Global consumption is even more impressive each year, reaching 36.4 billion barrels of consumption in 2018, according to BP. That's $ 2.184 trillion in one year. In gallons, the world's annual consumption is 1,134 trillion – about half the amount of water found in Lake Michigan.

Looking at total consumption after decades, consumption has increased from almost 200 billion barrels in the 70s to almost 350 billion barrels over the last decade.

All told, from 1969 to 2018, a fifty year span, the world has consumed 1,306 trillion barrels of oil.

But what about the period before 1969? It is more difficult to find this data, although it is less important in the system of big things because we are talking about significantly less volume. In the first few years, it is easier to obtain production data, which is a reasonable substitute for consumption since you cannot consume what you did not produce, and the producers would not produce barrels that are not consumed. Related: Shale Bleeds Cash Despite Best Quarter of the Year

From 1950-1969, world oil production amounted to 151.4 billion barrels. In 1950, total world oil production was 3.8 billion barrels – just over 10 million barrels per day. To compare this with today's production speed, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Russia each produce more than that.

Total estimated world oil consumption, from 1950 to 2018, is then estimated at 1.457 trillion barrels.

But what about before 1950?

Unfortunately, the world's record keeping ability was a bit inferior to today's methods. Not all producing countries kept a good record of the amount of oil it pumped out of the ground, and even fewer countries held good results on how much oil it consumed. For this reason, estimates of how much oil the world consumed before 1950 vary wildly. And clearly, the journaling ability is worse the longer you go back in history. And to find out how much oil the world has consumed, you had to get into your Way Back machine by 1850.

Hungarian Academy of Science Theory

In 2008 a few chemists from the Academy of Sciences estimated that the world had pumped 100 billion tons of crude oil. This is equivalent to approximately 733 billion barrels of oil. We can assume that this estimate included production through 2007. From 2008 to 2018, the world spent an additional $ 371.2 billion (BP), bringing the total oil used since the beginning to 1,104 trillion – under the use of 1,457 trillion barrels in the above calculations, taken from multiple sources.

The deviation in how many barrels the world has consumed to date indicates that no one really knows for sure how many barrels have been pumped out of the ground.

But if we use the above estimates, if we've used somewhere between 1.1 trillion and 1.5 trillion barrels of oil since the beginning of time, what's next?

Oil Demand Growth

Oil demand demand growth is set to slow in the coming years. But slowing demand growth means no growth in demand, and calls for "peak oil" are still nowhere to be seen. So while the world may be using 100 million barrels per day right now, according to the EIA, oil consumption is expected to increase by an average of 1.1 million barrels per day in 2019. By 2020, growth is expected to be 1.4 million barrels per day. However, these forecasts are often adjusted and projections for demand growth have been revised downward in recent weeks as analysts predict weakening economies and therefore demand stems from the US / China trade war.

OPEC has estimated that demand will grow by 7.3 million hpd. from 2019-2023, and 14.5 million bdd from 2019 to 2040. This means that by 2040, the world will consume nearly 42 billion barrels per year.

To compare this to how much oil the world has in reserve, which in 2018 the world has 1.497 trillion barrels of oil, according to OPEC, with 79.4% of reserves held in OPEC countries and 64.5% of OPEC's reserves is located in the Middle East. Venezuela and Iran – two sanctioned countries – own a total of 30% of OPEC's reserves. Nigeria and Libya – which have also had security risks that have hindered production – hold an additional 5%. This puts 35% of the world's oil at risk to stay in the ground.

But while OPEC owns the lion's share of the world Over the next decade, most of the new oil supply will come from the United States.

By Julianne Geiger for

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