A brief piece from the Economist highlights the oil trends around the world during the past decade. The article argues that the demand for oil exceeds oil production, following significant increases in consumption especially in Asia.
Prices of crude oil increased to $118.59 a barrel on June 8. The recent OPEC meeting in Vienna did not reach a conclusion on production quotas. Despite the failure to reach a consensus, Saudi Arabia has been planning to raise production levels by 1 million barrels a day.
One of the difficulties surrounding OPEC's meeting was the unique situation in some OPEC member states. For example, Libya has failed to produce much oil ever since February when the civil rest escalated into violence. This situation ultimately leaves to other nations the responsibility of filling the gap in oil production. On the other hand, other member nations like Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE support the insurgents in Libya.
Over the past ten years, China's consumption of oil increased by about 4 million barrels a day. This increase accounts for 40% of the world's rise in oil consumption. Also, for the first time ever, worldwide consumption superseded production by 5 million barrels per day.