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How Much Oil Does the World Consume a Day? This Much

By    |   Monday, 02 Mar 2015 08:02 PM

The world keeps consuming more oil. That’s not a real surprise, but one unconventional look at the numbers gives you a better idea of the dramatic extent of the global demand.

World consumption has been on a steady rise for decades and neared 94 million barrels a day in 2014. Estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration sees the number increasing by another million barrels a day by the end of next year:


BIG APPETITE: World consumption has been on a steady rise for decades and neared 94 million barrels a day in 2014.

"It’s mind-boggling," Peter Tertzakian, the chief economist and managing director of Canada’s ARC Financial Corporation, told participants at the Platts North American Crude Oil Summit last Thursday.

To put that number in perspective, Tertzakian offered this nugget: "That’s the equivalent of draining an Olympic-size swimming pool every 15 seconds."

"You can say, pardon the pun, the world goes ’round on oil," Tertzakian told Watchdog.org.

What is it about oil that makes such an effective and powerful energy source?

"Because it’s very hard to beat," Tertzakian said. "It’s got tremendous energy density, tremendous power density, you’ve got the ability to quickly rev up and rev down on your accelerator and power out of the chemical energy very quickly. It’s easy to transport and the infrastructure is there to transport it. It’s easy to store … It’s also extremely cheap."

It has drawbacks, too.

"It’s not good to be hostage to one commodity," Tertzakian said. "With oil, if you have a price spike it affects everything and there’s not a lot of alternatives, despite people talking about electric cars and natural gas. [Renewables] will come but they’re such a small fraction [of the energy portfolio]. It’s going to take a long time to migrate to another type of transportation-fuel combo."

For now, oil remains the world’s energy king.

"The global rate of consumption of oil is very staggering," said Tertzakian, who has been in the energy business for 34 years. "It’s phenomenal."

Rob Nikolewski is the National Energy Correspondent for Watchdog.org. He is based in Santa Fe, N.M. Contact him at rnikolewski@watchdog.org and follow him on Twitter @NMWatchdog.

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The world keeps consuming more oil. That's not a surprise, but one unconventional look at the numbers gives you a better idea of the dramatic extent of the global demand. World consumption has been on a steady rise for decades and neared 94 million barrels a day in 2014.
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2015-02-02
Monday, 02 Mar 2015 08:02 PM
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