World energy giant BP has published its 2015 edition of its Statistical Review of World Energy. The document highlights how the world has seen significant changes in global energy production and consumption – and how those changes have affected prices, the global fuel mix and carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.
The 64th annual edition of the review, the document notes the importance of the US shale revolution, which has led to the US overtaking Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest oil producer. The US has also surpassed Russia as the world's largest producer of oil and gas.
In addition, the review takes a detailed look at worldwide energy consumption. Primary energy consumption is slowing markedly, according to the report, with growth of just 0.9 per cent in 2014. This is a lower rate than any time since the late 1990s (except following the immediate aftermath of the last decade's financial crisis). In China, energy consumption slowed to its lowest level since 1998 as the country's economy moves away from energy-intensive sectors. However, China also remained the world's largest growth market for energy.
Speaking at the launch of the Statistical Review, BP Group chief Executive Bob Dudley said that there are some major changes going on in regards to how the world generates and uses energy.
"These events may well come to be viewed as symptomatic of a broader shifting of the tectonic plates that make up the energy landscape, with significant developments in both the supply of energy and its demand," he said, adding that the industry must look for ways to meet new challenges, while investing in future demand in a safe and sustainable manner.
According to the report, shifts in production and consumption had major effects on energy prices. The cost of oil has fallen sharply, thanks to the strength of supply as non-OPEC production grew by a record amount and OPEC maintained its normal output levels. Meanwhile, the growth of China's coal consumption stalled. Global natural gas growth was also weak - partly due to a mild European winter, which triggered a sharp fall in consumption.
Renewables were the fastest growing form of energy – but only accounted for three per cent of primary energy. Global carbon dioxide emissions from energy use grew by just 0.5 per cent.