Sharp rise in crude oil production in the USA.
In December 2018, the OPEC and Russia agreed to jointly reduce crude oil production to put a downward pressure on oil prices and limit the global glut. Under this OPEC+ agreement (as of January 2019, extended and strengthened in 2020), crude oil production declined by 4.9% in Saudi Arabia and stabilised in Russia (+0.8%), whereas Nigeria kept on raising its production (+4.8%).
International prices steadied but remained below their 2018 levels (-10% for the Brent, at US$64/bbl), as crude oil production in the USA set a new record (+11%) thanks to a boom in non-conventional output (mainly in the Permian region) and new projects coming online. This surge in US oil production widened the gap with Saudi Arabia, with the US producing 37% more oil than Saudi Arabia in 2019.
The Middle East experienced an overall decline (-6.1%), due to rising regional tensions, culminating in a drone attack in Saudi Arabia, and sanctions against Iran, where oil production fell by 34%. Similarly, oil production in Latin America dipped (-5.2%), due to political issues including the US sanctions in Venezuela (-32%) and the continuous decline in Mexico’s output (-7%), and despite a 7% growth in oil production in Brazil (surging pre-salt production).
Switzerland’s electricity consumption declined by 2.6% in 2020 to 55.7 TWh, according to the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. This decline was due to the COVID-19 related lockdowns (-4.3% in electricity consumption in the first quarter and -7.8% in the second quarter of 2020), and to economic trends (2.9% drop in the GDP), weather conditions (the number of heating degree days fell by 4.4% compared to 2019) and energy efficiency improvements to a lesser extent.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from operators covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) fell by 13.3% in 2020, due to an 11.2% decrease in emissions from stationary installations (power plants and manufacturing plants) to 1.331 MtCO2eq and a 64.1% decrease in emissions from aviation, a sector which was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, to 24.5 MtCO2eq.
The power sector posted a 14.9% decrease, as a result of reduced electricity consumption due to the pandemic and continued decarbonisation trends, including both the switch from coal to gas-fired power generation, and the replacement of fossil fuels by renewables. In addition, emissions from industry decreased by an average of 7%, with reductions observed in most sectors, including iron and steel (-11.7%), cement (-5.1%), chemicals (-4%) and refineries (-8.1%).
According to preliminary data from the Ministry of the Ecological Transition, France’s primary energy consumption decreased by 9.9% in 2020 to 2,571 TWh. Final energy consumption declined by 7.9% to 1,637 TWh in 2020, including 147 TWh for non-energy uses (final consumption for energy use at constant climate declined by 5.6% in 2020). The lockdown measures and travel restrictions had a significant impact on energy consumption in the transport and industrial sectors: energy consumption fell by nearly 16% in transport and by 6.5% in industry. The energy consumption of residential and tertiary building adjusted for climate variations increased slightly (+1.5% with climate corrections).
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions fell by 1.7% in 2019 to 5,769 MtCO2eq (including LULUCF), i.e. 13% below their 2005 level. The decrease in total energy consumption in 2019 (compared to 2018) and to a continued shift from coal to gas and renewables in the power sector reduced emissions from fossil fuel combustion.