In 1,000 of barrels per day. First chart represents production while second chart represents consumption. Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy.
Like the majority of natural resources, production and consumption geographical patterns of oil differ significantly. The Middle East is clearly the main supplying region, but its share has seen important fluctuations since the 1980s. For instance, developments such as the North Sea oil fields and of Siberia have increased European and Eurasian output. In recent years the exploitation of new sources of oil, namely shale oil and tar sands, has enabled North America to increase its production which has been steadily declining.
Concomitantly with production, world oil consumption has almost tripled since 1965. North American and European oil consumption has remained relatively constant over the last 25 years and has even declined through factors such as energy efficiency and the development of alternative sources of energy. A significant share of the new oil demand is assumed by Pacific Asian nations going through rapid industrialization and motorization, particularly China, which has become the world’s second largest importer after the United States. Another way to look at the relationships between production and consumption is to consider the oil balance; absolute regional differences between production and consumption.