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The world's 10 biggest oil consumers

Last updated on: March 12, 2010 19:27 IST

The world's 10 biggest oil consumers

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Rediff Business Desk

Petroleum is one of the most precious natural energy resources. Also referred to as 'black gold', its consumption and pricing is of great significance to the economy as it is a depleting resource.

With economies like China and India growing at a fast pace, the demand for oil is set to rise. India and China will account for 45 per cent of the increase in global primary energy demand by 2030, with both countries more than doubling their energy use over that period.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the global oil demand in 2010 would rise by 170,000 barrels a day to 86.5 million barrels, as developing countries need more crude to steer ahead their economies.

Transport accounts for about one quarter of global energy use and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.  In absence of new policies, transport energy use and related carbon dioxide emissions are projected to increase by nearly 50 per cent by 2030 and by more than 80 per cent by 2050. The world's car fleet is expected to triple by 2050 with 80 per cent of this growth occurring in developing economies.

The Copenhagen Climate change Accord emphasises on the need to cut down the dependence of fossil fuels to make the planet a safer and better place to live in. However, leading nations find it difficult to strike a balance between oil consumption and development.

Here's a look at the biggest consumers of oil...Click on NEXT to read further...

Image: Oil, a precious resource.

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The world's 10 biggest oil consumers

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1. United States

United States is the world's largest consumer of oil. It used 19.5 million barrels per day in 2008.

The US government increased its crude-oil price forecast for 2010 this week based on an outlook for higher demand as the global economy recovers. It has a total oil prudction of 8.5 million barrels per day. The total oil reserves amount to 21.317 billion barrels.

Oil consumption as per the 2008 US Energy Information Administration study. The 2009 data is yet to be released.


Image: A New York cab driver fills his taxi up with gas at a Hess station.
Photographs: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters.
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The world's 10 biggest oil consumers

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2. China

Despite slowdown in exports and domestic demand in the past year, China's demand for energy remains high.

China consumed 7.8 million barrels of oil per day in 2008. With real gross domestic product growing at a rate of 8-10 per cent a year, China's need for energy is projected to increase by 150 per cent by 2020.

China's total oil production stands at 4 million barrels per day. The total oil reserves amount to 16 billion barrels.


Image: A PetroChina employee inspects oil valves at an oil storage in Suining, China.
Photographs: Reuters
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3. Japan

The second largest net importer of oil, Japan consumed 4.8 million barrels per day in 2008. The country has a total oil production of 1,33,110 barrels per day and proven oil reserves of 0.044 billion barrels.

The total energy consumption from 2003 to 2030 is forecast to grow by 0.3 per cent per year on average.


Image: A worker stands next to the chimneys of an oil factory at Keihin industrial area in Kawasaki.
Photographs: Issei Kato/Reuters.
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The world's 10 biggest oil consumers

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4. India

With a high rate of economic growth, India has become a significant consumer of energy resources. India's oil consumption has risen to 3 million barrels per day in 2008, from 643,000 barrels of oil per day in 1980.

Despite the economic crisis, India's energy demand continues to rise steadily. India's total oil production is  8,83,510 barrels per day. The total oil reserves amount to 5.625 billion barrels.


Image: A worker counts currency notes at a petrol pump in Siliguri.
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters.
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The world's 10 biggest oil consumers

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5. Russia

A major oil producer, Russia consumed 2. 9 million barrels per day in 2008. Russia's total oil production in 2008 stood at 9.7 million barrels per day.

Russia has proven oil reserves of 60 billion barrels. Russia has the world's largest natural gas reserves, the second largest coal reserves and the eighth largest oil reserves.


Image: An oil pump jack is seen near Belarussian village of Bezuev, southeast of Minsk.
Photographs: Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters
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6. Germany

Germany consumed 2.6 million barrels per day in 2008. Russia's total oil production in 2008 stood at 1,50,800 barrels per day. Germany has proven oil reserves of 0.367 billion barrels.


Image: A petrol pump in Berlin.
Photographs: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters.
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7. Brazil

Brazil consumed 2.5 million barrels per day in 2008. Brazil's total oil production stood at 2.4 million barrels per day. The country has reserves of 12.182 billion reserves.


Image: An aerial view shows the state oil company Petrobras P-34 oil rig in the Campos basin.
Photographs: Jamil Bittar/Reuters.
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8. Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producer of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. It consumes 2.4 million barrels per day. Saudi Arabia has one-fifth of the world's proven oil reserves, 266.751 billion barrels.


Image: A station attendant washes his hand with gasoline at petrol station in Jeddah.

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9. Canada

Canada is a net exporter of oil, natural gas, coal, and electricity. A top supplier to the United States, Canada consumes 2.3 million barrels per day.

The country's total production stands at 3.35 million barrels per day. It has total proven reserves of 178.59 billion barrels.


Image: An oil rig worker checks a sample of the first crude oil to come out of Hibernia offshore resovoir.
Photographs: Reuters
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10. South Korea

South Korea, the fifth-largest net importer of oil in the world, consumes 2.2 million barrels per day. It has a total production of 30,440 barrels per day.


Image: An off shore oil rig of state-run Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC).
Photographs: Reuters
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