The United States increased oil production by more than any other developed country in 2009, with most of these production gains coming from the Gulf of Mexico, energy giant BP said in its annual review and analysis of world energy trends.
According to the report, Statistical Review of World Energy 2010, the United States produced nearly 7.2 million barrels of oil each day, a 7-percent increase over 2008 totals. That was nearly enough to offset a 7.3-percent drop in production from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). OPEC's production decline was its largest since 1983, BP said.
In introducing the company's 59th annual report, Tony Hayward, BP's group chief executive, was mindful of the embedded irony of the findings in light of BP's continued struggles to contain the massive oil spill in the Gulf. The data on U.S. oil production are "not an excuse for anything, but a piece of the reality in which we all live," he wrote.
Of the countries surveyed, only Brazil, Azerbaijan, Ecuador, and Peru grew their oil production at a faster clip than the United States did. But the production of all four countries combined was barely more than half that of the United States, the report found.
The global recession in 2009 broke decades-old records for declines in energy production and consumption, according to the report. For example, global consumption of "primary" energy sources—oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear power, and hydroelectric power—declined by 1.1 percent, the largest drop since 1980, the report said. Global oil production and consumption posted their largest declines since 1982, while natural gas production dropped 2.1 percent, its first decline on record, the report said.
The decline in the average price of Brené North Sea crude oil, a closely watched benchmark, fell 37 percent, the largest decline in percentage terms since 1986, according to the report.
Most of the decline was among the developed countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Among OECD countries, energy consumption contracted faster than gross domestic product—the sharpest decline in energy use on record. By contrast, energy consumption in the developing world outside of the former Soviet Union rose faster than GDP, the report said.
Coal's share of world energy consumption hit 29.4 percent in 2009, the highest level since 1970, the report said. However, global coal consumption was ï¬at last year, the weakest year-over-year change since 1999, the report said.
The declines in coal consumption were paced by the former Soviet Union with a 13.3-percent drop, followed by the OECD countries with a 10.4-percent decline, according to the report. Outside of the two areas, consumption rose 7.4 percent, with China—asserting itself as a major coal importer—accounting for 95 percent of that increase, the report said.
Hydroelectric power consumption rose 1.5 percent in 2009, making it the world's fastest-growing major energy source for the second consecutive year, BP said.