Global Oil and Gas Industry Overview: Largest Oil and Gas Consuming Countries (2018)

The global oil and gas industry is one of the most critical sectors in the modern society, as it is still the primary energy source for driving the global economy forward. The global market of oil and gas is set to recover in 2018, after a consistent shrinking period since 2014 caused by the low crude oil prices pushing down the revenues of the major oil and gas companies. While the top 10 largest oil producing countries are dominating the global oil production, the world’s major oil and gas consuming countries are also contributing significantly to the revenue of the global oil and gas industry.  It is expected that these largest oil and gas consuming countries will remain unchanged in the near future due to their high oil and gas demands.


Global Oil and Gas Industry Analysis


The global oil and gas industry refers to the process of exploration, extraction, drilling, refining, transportation of oil and gas. According to a recent report from IBISWorld, the global oil and gas industry generates over US$2 trillion in revenue a year and consists of around 347,000 businesses with a total employment of 4.2 million people worldwide. Over the past five years, the prices of crude oil and natural gas have been in some fluctuated states, causing the overall value of the global oil and gas industry to decline. Industry revenue declined sharply in late 2014. However, the growth is estimated to be more moderate in 2018. The top-four largest oil and gas companies, namely ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and Royal Dutch Shell, are expected to account for around 25% of the total global oil and gas industry revenues in 2018


Geographically, Asia Pacific was the largest region in the global oil and gas market in 2017, accounting for around 34% of the global market. This can be attributed to large consumer base and major economic development in countries such as India and China. North America was the second largest region accounting for around 22% of the market. Africa was the smallest region accounting for around 4% of the market, mainly due to the region’s relatively underdeveloped economy leading to a lack of infrastructure and research and development.


When it comes to market value, MarketLine predicts that the total value of global oil and gas market is expected to grow from $1.2 trillion in 2016 to over $1.6 trillion by 2021, representing a healthy Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.1% during the 2016 to 2021. Volume growth for the gas  during the same period is forecast at 1.6% reaching a total consumption of 52,619.8 Million Barrels of Oil Equivalent (MMboe). The US is the largest domestic oil and gas market in the world, with a total value of $286 billion in 2016, representing 24% of the global oil and gas market. The second and third largest oil and gas markets are China and Russia, respectively. Chinese market value stood at $161.9 billion and Russia’s at $63.5 billion in 2016.


Read more: Top 10 Largest Oil Producing Countries in the World (2018)

Top 10 Largest Oil Consuming Countries in the World


Rank Country 2016 Oil Consumption (Million Tons)
1 USA 771
2 China 520
3 India 203
4 Japan 167
5 Russia 149
6 Saudi Arabia 112
7 Brazil 110
8 South Korea 104
9 Canada 102
10 Germany 98


Source: Global Energy Statistical Yearbook


The USA consumes more energy from petroleum than from any other energy source. In 2016, the USA’s total oil consumption was about 771 million tons, equivalent to 19.7 million barrels per day (b/d), making the USA the world’s largest oil-consuming country in the world. The USA’s oil consumption accounts for over 20% of the world’s total oil consumption per day. However, oil consumption in the USA is declining in recent decades, mainly attributed to the increasing natural gas production and consumption, and the use of more fuel-efficient vehicles and electric cars.


Read more: Oil Companies Threatened by Increasing Popularity of Electric Cars

Top 10 Largest Natural Gas Consuming Countries in the World


Rank Country 2016 Natural Gas Consumption (Billion cubic metres)
1 USA 782
2 Russia 423
3 China 203
4 Iran 188
5 Japan 127
6 Canada 111
7 Germany 91
8 Saudi Arabia 90
9 UK 82
10 UAE 74


Source: Global Energy Statistical Yearbook


The EIA predicts that the global demand for the natural gas is to grow from 340 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day in 2015 to 485 Bcf per day by 2040. Countries in Asia and in the Middle East – led by China’s transition away from coal – will account for most of this increase. The USA remains as the world’s the largest natural gas consuming country, consumed over 782 bcm of natural gas. It is also expected that the United States – which only became a net natural gas exporter in 2017 after the country’s ban on natural gas exports – will compete with Australia and Qatar as the world’s largest liquefied natural gas exporter by 2022.


The Future Trend of the Global Oil and Gas Industry


The global oil and gas industry has improved its technology or leveraged that of its service suppliers to match with the world’s increasing hydrocarbon demand. Many oil and gas companies have made use of digitization, IoT and robotics to increase production with limited investment. These technologies enabled oil and gas companies to substantially decrease production costs and increase production volumes. While with the oil and gas demand remains high in the world’s major economies, the world’s top oil and gas consuming countries are also expected the be unchanged in the near future.



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