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Today in Energy

February 24, 2012

Asia is the world's largest petroleum consumer

animated map of World petroleum consumption by region, 1980-2010
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Statistics.

Asia surpassed North America as the largest petroleum-consuming region in 2008. Asian demand surged nearly 15 million barrels per day from 1980 to 2010, an increase of 146%. North America's petroleum consumption increased 16% between 1980 and 2010. Global petroleum consumption increased 36%, nearly 23 million barrels per day, during the period.

Together, the Middle Eastern, Central & South American, and African share of total global oil demand grew from 11% in 1980 to 20% in 2010 (see chart below). European demand for petroleum decreased 5% from 1980 to 2010, while consumption in the Former Soviet Union fell 55% in the same period.

graph of World petroleum consumption by region, 1980-2010, as described in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Statistics.
Note: Percents on graph represent that region's share of global petroleum production in that year. Percents do not sum to 100% for each year because the graph does not include Oceania, which only accounted for 1% of global consumption each year.
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