Fossil Fuel Production Up Despite Recession

World production of fossil fuels-oil, coal, and natural gas-increased 2.9 percent in 2008 to reach 27.4 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) per day, the highest ever recorded. In the first half of the 2008, producers strained to meet global demand, but by year's end the global recession left the market swamped by excess supply, causing oil prices to fall to from $144 per barrel in July to $34 per barrel in December.

According to the latest Vital Signs Update on fossil fuel production:

  • Continuing a decade-long trend, most of the growth in fossil fuel production was in the Asia-Pacific region, where production grew 6.3 percent.
  • For six years running, coal has led the growth in fossil fuel production. The growth in China's coal consumption since 2000 dwarfs that of all other countries combined.
  • Natural gas production has maintained a 27-28 percent share of fossil energy production since 2000. High gas prices have spurred exploration and development, especially in the United States, which provided 19 percent of global gas production in 2008.

This new fossil fuel production update includes the latest figures on fossil fuel production globally and by region.

Read the Vital Signs analysis, "Fossil Fuel Production Up Despite Recession" by James Russell.