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Energy Investing: Natural Gas Markets

Energy Investing: Global Oil Demand Numbers

If you are going to successfully invest in oil, simply knowing where the oil is and which countries are producing it isn’t enough information. You must also understand demand.

The United States is the world’s largest oil consumer by far, requiring 18.8 million barrels per day, nearly twice what it produces, leaving it still 50 percent reliant on imports. The United States also consumes about twice as much oil as the next biggest consumer, China, although this gap will continue to close as China presses on with rapid industrialization. This table shows you the world’s top ten oil-consuming countries.

Top World Oil Consumers
Country Daily Consumption (Millions of Barrels per Day)
United States 18.8
China 9.8
Japan 4.5
India 3.3
Russia 3.2
Saudi Arabia 2.8
Brazil 2.6
Germany 2.4
Canada 2.3
South Korea 2.2

As you can see, many of the countries in this table are still developing and will continue to consume more and more oil every year, keeping upward pressure on demand. In 2011, the world consumed just over 87 million barrels per day.

The IEA forecasts global oil demand to hit 94 million barrels per day by 2020 and exceed 99 million barrels per day in 2035, which will drive prices to more than $120 per barrel. More than half of this growth will come from China, India, and the Middle East.

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