BP Releases "Statistical Review of World Energy 2004"

June 16, 2004

BP continued its 53-year tradition of compiling world energy statistics with the publication of its "Statistical Review of World Energy 2004" on June 15th. This year's report shows that at current rates of production, the world's proved reserves of oil are sufficient to last for 40 years, although nearly 77 percent of those reserves are located in OPEC countries. The proved reserves of natural gas are sufficient to last for 67 years at current rates of production, with the largest reserves in the countries of the former Soviet Union. Proved reserves of coal are sufficient to last 192 years at current production rates, with most reserves in North America, the Asia Pacific region, and Europe and Eurasia.

World energy use increased 2.9 percent in 2003, with the strongest growth (6.3 percent) in the Asia Pacific region. Among fossil fuels, coal grew fastest in 2003, with an increase of 6.9 percent, largely due to a reported increase of more than 15 percent in China. Chinese oil demand has also doubled over the past ten years, leading BP's Chief Executive, the Lord Browne of Madingley, to conclude in his foreword that China "will be a major influence on the world energy scene from now on."

In contrast to the fossil fuel statistics, BP's statistics on renewable energy sources are relatively limited. The report does note that world geothermal capacity was just shy of 6,000 megawatts in 2000 and that wind power capacity has reached 40,000 megawatts worldwide, "signaling wind's emergence as a mainstream energy source." The report also notes that solar photovoltaic capacity has increased more than ten fold over the last decade. World consumption of large hydroelectric power held nearly steady in 2003, increasing by only 0.4 percent. See the BP press release and BP's "Statistical Review of World Energy 2004."