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).
According to the European Commission, primary energy consumption declined by 0.7% in 2018 (-0.1% only for final energy consumption), which is insufficient to meet the 2020 targets. The highest annual reductions in primary energy consumption were posted in Belgium, Austria and Greece, whereas the largest increases were observed in Estonia, Latvia and Luxembourg. Between 2005 and 2018, primary energy consumption decreased in all Member States except Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia and Poland. Primary energy intensity fell in all Member States between 2005 and 2018; however, it grew in Denmark, Estonia and Luxemburg in recent years (between 2015 and 2018).
According to the Swiss government, final energy consumption in Switzerland slightly increased in 2019 (+0.3%) due to cooler temperatures, economic growth (+0.9%), demographic growth (+0.7%) and increasing fleet of motor vehicles (+0.8%). This rising trend was offset by continued energy efficiency and substitution effects.
According to preliminary figures from Citepa, France’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions declined by 0.9% in 2019, from 445 MtCO2eq in 2018 to 441 MtCO2eq in 2019. This is due to a decline in GHG emissions from the residential and tertiary sector (-2.7%, i.e. -2.2 MtCO2eq, with a 2.3% drop for households and a 3.2% decline for services), in the energy sector (-0.7%, including -1.5% for power generation), and in waste processing (-2.2%). In 2019, CO2 emissions dipped by 1%, from 331.5 Mt to 328.2 Mt (-3.3 Mt), while methane emissions contracted by 0.7% (-0.4 MtCO2eq).
According to Statistics Norway, Norwegian greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions fell by 2.1% to 51 MtCO2eq in 2019, the fourth year of decline in a row, thanks to reduced fuel consumption in the transport sector (-7.7%) and a drop in emission from oil and gas extraction (-1.7% to 13.9 MtCO2eq). However, emissions in the industry and mining sector grew by 1.9% to 12.2 MtCO2eq. Overall, Norway’s GHG emissions in 2019 stood 1% below their 1990 levels.