The World Has Been Using A Lot More Oil Than We Thought

For the past 15 years the world has been using more oil than the primary monitoring agency thought.

The changes aren’t small. At 2.9 billion barrels, the additional demand they’ve just found is equivalent to five times the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or an entire year’s worth of consumption in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.K. and Mexico.

Not surprisingly, the revisions were made to oil products and in sectors that are among the least transparent in the oil balance — the petrochemicals industries in Saudi Arabia and China.

The 660 million barrels of surplus stockpiles that the IEA saw a month ago have evaporated. The demand revisions mean that the agency now estimates that global oil stockpiles fell below their end-2019 level by the start of 2022.