Oil major BP said 2014 was a year of ‘tectonic’ shifts in global energy production and consumption.
The company has just released its 2015 edition of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy which shows how significant changes in global energy production and consumption have had profound implications for prices, the global fuel mix and carbon dioxide emissions.
Amongst some of the highlights was the continuing importance of the shale revolution, with the US overtaking Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer – surpassing Russia as the world’s largest producer.
BP group chief executive Bob Dudley said: “The eerie calm that had characterised energy markets in the few years prior to 2014 came to an abrupt end last year.
“However, we should not be surprised or alarmed. These events may well come to be viewed as symptomatic of a broader shifting of the tectonic plates that make up the energy landscape, with significant developments in both the supply of energy and its demand.
“Our task as an industry is to meet today’s challenges while continuing to invest to meet tomorrow’s demand, safely and sustainably.”
The findings showed how the shifts in production and consumption had major effects on energy prices as well as the fuel mix.
Oil prices have fallen sharply – driven mainly by the strength of supply as non-OPEC production grew by a record amount – while OPEC maintained its output levels to maintain market share.
The growth of China’s coal consumption stalled and global natural gas also weak last year, held back by a mild European winter which triggered a sharp fall in consumption.
The year 2014 saw dated Brent averaging $98.95 a barrel, a decline of $9.71 per barrel from the 2013 level and the first annual average below $100 since 2010.
Crude oil prices remained firm in early 2014 in the face of continued large supply disruptions, but fell sharply later in the year.
BP’s findings also highlighted that renewables were the fastest growing form of energy, accounting for one third of the increase in overall primary energy use during a year in which global primary energy consumption slowed.