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2012 BP Statistical Review of World Energy shows interesting trends in US, Worldwide

For the 61st straight year, BP has released its Statistical Review of World Energy. In a recent turn of events, the US has found ways to lower natural gas prices, reaching record oil discounts.

These prices have come as a result of a tremendous increase in oil production. This is possible due to the production of shale liquids, obtained from the Great River Formation in parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.

This Shale formation is estimated to be three times greater than the oil reserves in Saudi Arabia. It is thought that the Great River Formation could provide the US with fuel for at least the next 400 years.

The US serves as an example of some worldwide trends. Although global energy consumption did grow by 2.5% in 2011, that is down dramatically from the 5.1% increase of 2010.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international group dedicated to improving the economic and social well-being of people around the world. It is largely because of this group that we have seen a drop-off in the global level of energy consumption.

The OECD consists of countries with already established economies – such as the US and Japan – and has seen all of its represented nations lower their level of energy consumption in the past year.

Amazingly, China alone accounts for 71% of the world’s growth in energy consumption.

Other fascinating trends show that coal is becoming a more highly demanded fuel within the past year. It was the only fossil fuel which had a consumption growth above the annual average at 5.4%.

Coal has reached its highest percent of global energy consumption since 1969, now at 30.3%. Again, this growth is a result of its increased use in countries outside of the OECD. This is largely because coal has easily predictable results when it comes to carbon emissions.

Although significant progress has been made in reducing the cost of non-renewable fuel sources for consumers, the question still stands—what happens when those sources run out?

Unfortunately, it seems as if we’re still looking for sustainable answers.

Production levels of renewable energy sources saw its lowest increase (.7%) since 2000. Wind power now accounts for over half the renewable energy in our world.

Ultimately BP claims that “prices must be allowed their role as signals to guide the reallocation of energy flows.”

If that is indeed the case, consumers may have even more to look forward to in years to come.

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Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley via Compfight

BP Statistical Review of World Energy: 2012 Report

The BP Statistical Review of World Energy provides timely and objective data about energy economics. Used by media, academia and world governments, the BP Statistical Review has been published every year since 1951.