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Eni report: global oil reserves and oil production up in 2018 due to US

Eni has released the 18th edition of the World Oil, Gas and Renewables Review, the annual statistics report on oil, natural gas and renewables sources. The first volume of the report, the World Oil Review, is devoted to oil reserves, supply, demand, trade and prices with a special focus on crude oil quality and on refining industry. The second volume, the World Gas and Renewables Review, focused on natural gas and renewables sources (solar, wind and biofuels), will be published in autumn.

In 2018, global oil reserves rose slightly (+0.4%), mainly due to growth in the US. Reserves​also rose in Brazil and Norway. OPEC registered zero growth as production in the Arab Gulf countries were offset by losses in Iran and Venezuela due to geopolitical issues.


Source: Eni World Oil Review 2019.

2018 recorded an overall growth in oil production of 2.5 Mb/d, 88% of which was due to the US, which hit a new record, thereby consolidating first place in the rank of world producers. The US also broke into the international crude trade, doubling export volumes and entering that top ten ranking.

The tight oil production phenomenon continued to increase the share of sweet light crudes, which rose above 20% worldwide. WTI, the US light crude, covers 60% of global growth. The collapse of Venezuela and Mexico and Iran’s retreat prevailed over increases in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, reducing the weight of medium sour crude oil for the first time below 40%, with impacts on price differentials and refining.

The surge in US production and Canada’s growth far outweighed domestic demand, generating a sharp decline in North American oil dependence. The surplus in the Middle East is slightly up, due to the year-end increases of big producers (Saudi Arabia, Iraq and U.A.E.). Asia Pacific’s oil dependence continues to grow, ranking first in terms of deficit.

Global oil demand grew by 1.4%, slightly lower than in 2017 (+1.6%) in a context of increasing oil prices. The growth is slightly under the five-year average of 1.7% recorded in 2013-2017. For the fourth year in a row, OECD gave positive support to global growth, but non-OECD maintained the dominant share, accounting for 69% of the overall growth.

Asia kept leading global refining capacity growth with 77% of the 1 Mb/d increase vs 2017. In Africa a minor cut reduced capacity by around 0.3 Mb/d.

The OPEC and non-OPEC alliance and the sustained growth in consumption led to a 30% rise in ICE Brent price (72 $/b) compared to 2017 (55 $/b). In the first part of the year the high OPEC+ discipline and the announcement of the US sanctions against Iran supported a rising price curve. The year ended in sharp decline, due to increases of Saudi Arabia and Russia production in excess of geopolitical losses and due to growing fears of a slowdown in economic growth.


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