World oil production grew by a peak 2.9 percent in 2012 thanks to the recovery of Libya’s output, and record production by Saudi Arabia to compensate for the drops in other countries, especially Iran. U.S. production was also high, rising 12 percent in one year due to the strong development of tight oil, turning the U.S. into the world’s largest gas producer, outperforming Russia. World oil consumption grew one percent in 2012, especially in emerging countries, in contrast with the trend in industrialised countries, which have had a negative trend in the last few years. World gas consumption increases are also higher, boosted by emerging economies and the competitiveness of shale gas production in the United States.
The gas market, so abundant in North America, is showing some weaknesses in other regions. For the first time in 40 years, LNG trading dropped due to problems in some countries’ supply system and to the limited start-up of new plants. Global refining capacity continues to grow thanks to investments made in the Asia-Pacific region, which is consolidating its role as the world’s refining hub. Despite numerous plant shut-downs, European refining capacity is still excessive, especially in the face of a drop in demand.
By contrast, refining in the United States is bolstered by upstream operations in tight oil and shale gas. This year, ENI’s World Oil and Gas Review is available on the eni.com website as well as in print. Online, thanks to a World Energy and Economic Atlas application, it is possible to consult and compare every country or geographic area on the basis of energy indicators and economic variables in the report. The application can also be downloaded on iPads for free. (AGI)