(MENAFN - Bahrain Tribune) Middle East oil consumption showed above average growth of 4.4 per cent during 2007 as regional and global production fell for the first time since 2002, according to the recently released 2008 BP Statistical Review of World Energy.
The rise in Middle East oil consumption to 6.2 million barrels/day reflected the region's continued strong economic growth mirroring a worldwide trend of increasing demand from emerging markets. In percentage terms, the Middle East regional increase in oil demand was the world's third highest after Latin America and Africa. Middle East oil production fell by 1.8 per cent to 25.2 million b/d on the back of OPEC production cuts in late 2006 and early 2007. The decline was partially offset by a seven per cent increase in production from Iraq.
The 350,000 drop in OPEC production was noticeable on the global oil production total, which fell by 0.2 per cent, or 130,000 b/d, to 81.5 million b/d.
Saudi Arabia continued to be the world's largest oil producer with an average output of 10.4 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2007 amounting to 12.6 per cent of total global production.
Middle East proved oil reserves stood at 755 billion barrels at the end of 2007, or 61 per cent of the world total, equivalent to 82 years of production at current levels. Global proved oil reserves amounted to 1.24 trillion barrels, sufficient to meet current worldwide production for more than 41 years.
The Middle East also contains 41 per cent of the world's gas reserves, with regional reserves standing at 2,585 trillion cubic feet at the end of 2007. The vast majority of the region's gas reserves were found in Iran and Qatar, home to 15.7 per cent and 14.4 per cent of the global total respectively. The world's largest gas reserves, a quarter of the global total, are found in the Russian Federation.
"The review shows that the world's fossil fuel resource base remains sufficient to support growing levels of production but the continued weakness in oil supply and increasing demand outside the OECD also highlight the challenges that industry faces in maintaining secure energy supplies," said Mark Finley, General Manager, Global Energy Markets & US Economics, ahead of a regional tour during which he will meet with industry officials and policy makers from Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
For close to six decades, the BP Statistical Review of World Energy has provided high-quality, globally consistent data on world energy markets and is one of the most widely respected and authoritative publications in the field of energy economics.
BP is one of the world's largest companies with operations in more than 100 countries on six continents. The company's main activities are oil and gas exploration and production, refining, marketing and supply and transportation. BP's regional exploration and production operations are headquartered in Abu Dhabi, while Dubai serves as the hub for BP's refining and marketing activities.