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Oil's share of global energy mix continues to retreat as renewables surge: BP

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Oil's share of global energy mix continues to retreat as renewables surge: BP


Oil accounted for 33.1% of energy mix in 2019

Renewable power grew over 40% last year

Proved reserves slip for first time since 2015

  • Author
  • Robert Perkins
  • Editor
  • Daniel Lalor
  • Commodity
  • Agriculture Coal Electric Power LNG Natural Gas

London — Oil's share of the global energy mix continued to slip last year, but remained the largest contributor to primary energy supply, as the role of natural gas and renewables rose to record highs, according to estimates by BP.

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Oil's dominance over world energy use slipped 0.2 percentage point to 33.1% in 2019, while the growth of natural gas and renewables saw their shares rise to 24.2% and 5%, respectively, BP's latest annual Statistical Review of World Energy showed.

Rising renewable power, mostly from solar and wind, accounted for over 40% of global energy growth last year, according to the data, after renewables posted a record increase in consumption in energy terms.

As a result, renewable energy, including biofuels, overtook nuclear which makes up 4.3% of the energy mix, the report found.

Natural gas consumption increased by 78 Bcm, or 2%, led by LNG exports from the US.

Oil's share of the global energy mix has been falling steadily over the past four decades after hitting a peak of 50% in 1973, according to BP's data.

Bar a brief recovery in the wake of the 2014 oil price crash, the slide accelerated in 1999 as oil was largely displaced by rising coal consumption as energy demand growth slowed.

But a more recent shift away from coal toward gas and renewables meant coal's share of primary energy fell to its lowest level in 16 years last year to 27%, according to BP.

Despite coal slipping consumption slipping last year, BP said coal was still the single largest source of power generation, accounting for over 36% of global power compared to 10% provided by renewable energy.

Overall, the report showed the world's primary energy consumption rose 1.3% in 2019, less than half the rate of the previous year.

China remained the dominant driver of global energy demand growth, accounting for more than three-quarters of the net global total, while the US and Germany posted the largest declines in energy terms.

Proved reserves slip

Global oil consumption grew by a below-average 900,000 b/d, or 0.9%, in 2019 while demand for all liquid fuels, including biofuels, topped 100 million b/d for the first time, BP said.

Demand growth was still led by China, where demand rose by 680,000 b/d, the largest increase in the country's demand since 2015.

OECD oil demand fell 290,000 b/d, the first decrease since 2014, BP said.

On supply, BP noted that the US had the largest increase of any country for the third consecutive year, with its output rising by 1.7 million b/d, down from the record increase in 2018 of 2.2 million b/d.

The world's total proven reserves of oil slipped for the first time since 2015 by 0.1% to 1.733 trillion barrels last year, BP said, from 1.735 trillion barrels in 2018.

The change, which saw the original 2018 estimate revised upward from 1.73 trillion barrels, mostly reflects proved reserve reductions in Canada (900 million barrels), Brazil (700 million barrels), and Indonesia (700 million barrels).

The proven reserves total would be sufficient to meet 49.9 years of production at 2019 levels, BP said, down from 50 years in the previous year's review.

BP's proven reserves figures, based on official reporting from national authorities, can reflect average oil prices which affects the volumes of oil a country considers recoverable.