Key messages

As one of the flagship publications of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Annual Statistical Bulletin (ASB) offers detailed and comprehensive time-series data on several aspects of the global petroleum industry, including production, demand, imports and exports, as well as exploration and transportation activities.

In particular, the ASB contains key statistical data on oil and natural gas activities in each of OPEC’s 14 Member Countries: Algeria, Angola, Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. In addition, it provides valuable data for many other countries grouped by geographical region, and covers the major economic zones all over the world.

The current version of the ASB — ASB 2019 — comprises data up to the end of 2018, with the following highlights:

  • Total world crude oil production increased sharply in 2018 by 1.213 million barrels/day (m b/d), or 1.6 per cent, as compared to 2017, to reach 75.78m b/d, marking a historical high and the highest annual growth since 2015. OPEC crude oil production declined year-on-year by 415,000 b/d, or 1.3 per cent, while crude production by non-OPEC countries grew by 1.628m b/d, or 3.8 per cent. The largest volumetric gains were for the United States with 1.610m b/d, or 17.2 per cent, Saudi Arabia with 358,000 b/d or 3.6 per cent and Russia with 178,000 b/d or 1.7 per cent In 2018, the top three crude oil producing countries were the United States (10.96m b/d), Russia (10.53m b/d) and Saudi Arabia (10.32m b/d).

  • With an average of 98.73m b/d in 2018, world oil demand grew by 1.5 per cent y-o-y, with the largest increases recorded for Asia and Pacific region (particularly China and India) and North America. Oil demand in Africa and the Middle East fell in 2018 by around 23,000 b/d, as compared to 2017, while Latin America posted an increase following consecutive declines during the previous three years. OECD oil demand grew solidly for the fourth consecutive year in 2018, while oil demand in OPEC Member Countries declined slightly after increasing during 2017. Distillates and gasoline accounted for around 55.0 per cent of 2018 world oil demand with an upward trend. Residual fuel oil requirements were about 7.2 per cent of total oil demand in 2018.

  • OPEC Member Countries exported an average of 24.67m b/d of crude oil in 2018, a slight increase of about 14,000 b/d, or 0.1 per cent, compared to 2017. Following the trend in previous years, the bulk of crude oil from OPEC Member Countries — 15.86m b/d or 64.3 per cent — was exported to the Asia and Pacific region. Considerable volumes of crude oil — about 4.58m b/d — were also exported to Europe in 2018, which, however, represents a decline compared with 4.65m b/d recorded in 2017. North America imported 2.81m b/d of crude oil from OPEC Member Countries, which was about 406,000 b/d, or 12.6 per cent, less than the 2017 volumes. Exports of petroleum products from OPEC Member Countries averaged 4.71m b/d during 2018, up by around 784,000 b/d, or 20.0 per cent, compared to 2017. Imports of petroleum products by OPEC Member Countries stood at 2.62m b/d in 2018, roughly 593,000 b/d, or 29.3 per cent, higher than in 2017.

  • World proven crude oil reserves stood at 1,498 billion barrels (bn b) at the end of 2018, increasing slightly by 0.4 per cent from the level of 1,492bn b recorded at the end of 2017. Proven crude oil reserves in OPEC Member Countries decreased slightly by 0.2 per cent to 1,189bn b at the end of 2018 for the second consecutive year. OPEC Member Countries’ share of total world proven crude oil reserves decreased marginally, from 79.9 per cent at the end of 2017 to 79.4 per cent at the end of 2018. At the end of 2018, world proven natural gas reserves rose by 0.7 per cent to approximately 203.2 trillion standard cubic metres (cu m). The observed increase in natural gas reserves is mainly attributed to North America, Middle East and Africa. Proven natural gas reserves in OPEC Member Countries stood at 72.68 trillion standard cu m at the end of 2018, up 0.6 per cent from the level at the end of 2017. World refinery capacity expanded by 876,000 barrels/calendar day (b/cd) to stand at 99.51m b/cd during 2018. The Asia and Pacific region, particularly China, as well as the Middle East, particularly the Islamic Republic of Iran, contributed the most in terms of refining capacity additions. Refinery capacity in the OECD declined marginally in 2018, as compared to 2017, with capacity expansions in North America being offset by closures in Europe. Globally, refinery throughput surged by 1.6 per cent to reach 84.94m b/d in 2018, with the largest gains in the Asia and Pacific region, North America, Europe and the Middle East.

  • The OPEC Reference Basket averaged $69.78/b in nominal terms during 2018, up from $52.43/b in 2017, an increase of $17.35/b, or 33.1 per cent. The volatility level was $6.59/b, or 9.4 per cent, relative to the yearly average. In real terms, the OPEC Reference Basket stood at $45.81/b during 2018, up from $36.09/b during 2017.