"World Oil Review" is the statistical report, now in its 18th edition, on petroleum reserves, production, consumption, import and export, quality and prices, and the refining industry. The publication consists of two volumes. The first is about the world of petroleum and the refining industry, the second is about natural gas and renewable sources. The report provides information for a deeper understanding of the main trends and is addressed to both specialists in energy and the wider public.
The energy situation worldwide: an enormous rise in the demand for gas
In 2018 world gas reserves went up slightly (by 0.6%). Russia, with 24% of world reserves, proved itself the main reserve holder. Seven OPEC countries were among the top 10, with 47% of the world's reserves between them.
World production of gas continued the increase that began in 2010 and sped up in the last two years (by more than 3% in 2017–2018 compared to 1.6% in 2015–2016). Global demand for gas also rose greatly (by 4.6%, the highest increase since 2010) everywhere except Europe. As for renewables, at the end of 2018, solar and wind accounted for more than 40% of the installed capacity of all renewable sources and about 15% of all energy sources.
Gas expanding greatly in the USA and Australia
Production in the USA and Australia grew by more than 10%, mainly thanks to new LNG plants being opened. In 2018 the two countries became the fourth and fifth biggest exporters in the world, respectively (and third and second in terms only of LNG). Gas production declined in Russia, the world's second biggest producer after the USA, by 0.6%, while exports hit record levels. In Europe, production fell by 5.3%, as all the big producing countries contracted: Holland by 16% thanks to ever more stringent caps on production at Groningen, Britain by 3.2% and Norway by 2.5%. In Africa, Egypt kept growing considerably (by 12%), thanks to a ramp-up at Zohr, more than compensating for reduced production in Algeria and Nigeria. Global demand for gas rose more sharply than in any year since 2010, by 4.6%, except in Europe, where it fell by 1.7%. Asia-Pacific led the growing demand in 2018 (with an increase of 6.3%), thanks above all to China (about 15%), the world's third biggest gas consumer and, as of 2018, its biggest exporter. There was also more demand for gas in Singapore (22% more), Pakistan (20%), South Korea (12%), Malaysia (5%) and India (5%), but less in Japan (3.8% less), which dropped to third place among world importers of gas, behind China and Germany. The USA also saw a huge leap in demand (of 9.5%) due to some harsh weather, and remained the world's biggest consumer of gas.
At the end of 2018, solar and wind, at 486 GW and 564 GW respectively, accounted for more than 40% of the installed capacity of all renewable sources and about 15% of all energy sources. In 2018, new solar installations rose by about 25%, reaching the record of 94 GW, driven by a fall in technology costs. Wind capacity rose by 49 GW, but compared to 2016 there were 3% fewer new installations. China led in solar and wind, with 360 GW, or 34% of global installed capacity for the two sources. However, their growth in the country slowed down, expanding by only 22% compared to 30% in each of the previous two years.