My Quick Preview of the 2012 BP Statistical Review

Soon, the BP Statistical Review will release its annual update to 2011 global energy data. Each year I slowly tinker with projections for global consumption, among the various energy sources, from oil to coal to natural gas. I’ll make a few calls here, today. But first, let’s take a look at where we stand in this regard, according to last year’s report (which recorded 2010 data). | see:  Global Energy Use by Source 2010.

When the 2011 data is released sometime in the next 8 weeks, I expect to see the following changes. First, global production of crude oil was flat in 2011 compared to 2010. While it’s possible that BP could record an increase nevertheless in global oil consumption–implying that oil came out of inventories to meet demand—I am going to drop oil’s share of global consumption as other sources rise. Therefore, I tip oil’s share to fall to 32.50%.  As for natural gas, I call global NG’s share to rise to 24.36%. Nuclear meanwhile stagnated as usual, thus losing more share, and falls to the 5% share mark. Hydro held its share mostly steady at 6.37%. Renewables rose fast again, to attain a 1.47% share. Finally, coal had another strong year of share gains, and finally crossed the 30% level, to reach 30.31% of global consumption.

Overall, global consumption of energy from all sources in 2011, I predict, rose by a bit more than 4.00%. This was slightly lower than the strong rebound year of 2010, owing to the European crisis in the second half and flat global oil consumption. The world continues to turn to other sources of energy now that peak oil has been reached, with the fastest growth rates in renewables, and continued strong gains in natural gas and coal.

–Gregor