World Fossil Fuel Production & Primary Energy

Updated November 2022.

Fossil Fuel Production

Shares of production (or extraction) of fossil fuel by country in 2021 are shown below.

Chart 1. Shares of production of coal, oil and gas by country in 2021, highlighting those producing 1% or more of the respective fuel’s 2021 world total. Data: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 20221, spreadsheet listed in ‘Key Downloads’. Sheets used were ‘Coal Production – Tonnes’, ‘Oil Production -Barrels’ and ‘Gas Production – Bcm’.
Note: “Around 15% of oil and 5% of natural gas are used as petrochemical feedstocks and in other non-combustion processes”2 resulting in “much lower”2 scope 3 emissions. “There would still be scope 1 and 2 emissions from their extraction, processing and transport,…”2. This amounts to 19% of total CO₂ emissions per barrel of oil3, and 24% per barrel-of-oil-equivalent for gas4.
In regards to coal, the share in the US not combusted is less than 1%5, suggesting the share not combusted globally is very small. Coal is combusted for the manufacture of steel, responsible for 7% of world energy sector CO₂ emissions6, and the generation of electricity, responsible for 28% of world energy sector CO2 emissions7.

Discussion –

Coal:

China alone accounted for just over half of total world coal production in 2021, and 11 countries produced 1% or more accounting for 93.7%.

Oil:

5 countries accounted for just over half (US, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Canada and Iraq). 19 countries produced 1% or more accounting for 87.8% of 2021 world total oil production.

Gas:

4 countries produced just over half (US, Russia, Iran and China). 18 countries produced 1% or more accounting for 84.4% of 2021 world total gas production.

Of the world’s 195 countries8, only 7 are responsible for producing just over half of the world’s fossil fuels:

  • The US
  • China
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Canada
  • Iran
  • Iraq

Primary Energy

Primary energy accounts for energy supplied in its primary form, prior to any conversions such as coal to electricity. In the case of combustible fuels, quantities of embodied energy are accounted for prior to combustion. For non-combustible fuels (mainly solar, wind, nuclear and hydro), equivalents are calculated. Primary energy accounting is explained further in this website’s guide.

This page uses the latest data from the IEA9 10 and BP1 11 at the time of publication.

Annual shares

Charts of both datasets are shown below12.

Chart 2. Left – World primary energy by share in 2019 (most recent year of IEA data)9 13 14. Right – World primary energy by share in 2021. Data: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 20221 15 16 17.

Although BP’s data is more recent than the IEA’s, it doesn’t fully account for biofuels, plausibly excluding fuels not traded on financial markets such as dung and wood, used by about 2.5 billion people for residential cooking and heating18. Because of this the shares of fossil fuels in the charts above differ. Also note that grouping of the upper charts differ because of different categorisations of the data sets19.

Trends

Chart 3. World primary energy by annual share of fuel category, 1965 – 2021. Data: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 20221 15 16.
Chart 4. World primary energy by annual share of fuel, 1965 – 2021. Data: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 20221 15 16.
Chart 5. World primary energy by annual share of fuel category, stacked, 2000 – 2021. Data: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 20221 15 16.
Chart 6. World primary energy by annual share of fuel, stacked, 2000 – 2021. Data: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 20221 15 16.
Chart 7. Absolute values of annual world primary energy by fuel category, 1965 – 2021, in units of exajoules (EJ). Data: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 20221 15 16.
Chart 8. Absolute values of annual world primary energy by fuel, 1965 – 2021, in units of exajoules (EJ). Data: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 20221 15 16.

Chart 9 shows that since 1995, the year of the United Nations first Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP1)20, annual reductions of fossil fuels have occurred only twice – due to the Global Financial Crisis21 and COVID22. The reduction in 2020 was matched by the rebound in 2021, but Chart 10 shows that oil did not fully rebound.

Chart 9. Annual change of world primary energy by fuel category since the first United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties20, COP1 in 1995. Data: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 20221 15 16.
Value shown at the top of columns is annual change, rounded, in units of exajoules per year.
Chart 10. Annual change of world primary energy by fuel since the first United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties20, COP1 in 1995. Data: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 20221 15 16.
Value shown at the top of columns is annual change, rounded, in units of exajoules per year.
Footnotes
  1. https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html()()()()()()()()()()()
  2. p.99 https://iea.blob.core.windows.net/assets/4315f4ed-5cb2-4264-b0ee-2054fd34c118/The_Oil_and_Gas_Industry_in_Energy_Transitions.pdf()()()
  3. Oil scope 1&2 CO₂ emissions: “95 kilogrammes of CO₂ equivalent (kgCO₂-eq) is emitted in bringing an average barrel of oil to end-use consumers.” Oil scope 3 CO₂ emissions: “The global average array of oil products produced from a barrel of crude oil equivalent in 2018 results in around 405 kgCO₂ when combusted.”, p.30 https://iea.blob.core.windows.net/assets/4315f4ed-5cb2-4264-b0ee-2054fd34c118/The_Oil_and_Gas_Industry_in_Energy_Transitions.pdf, 95/(95+405) = 19%()
  4. Gas scope 1&2 CO₂ emissions: “For natural gas, global average scope 1 and 2 emissions are around 100 kg CO2-eq/boe.”. Gas scope 3 CO₂ emissions: There is a much smaller
    degree of variation in CO₂ emissions from the combustion of natural
    gas, but on average, emissions are 320 kgCO₂/boe” p.30 https://iea.blob.core.windows.net/assets/4315f4ed-5cb2-4264-b0ee-2054fd34c118/The_Oil_and_Gas_Industry_in_Energy_Transitions.pdf, 100/(100+320) = 24%.()
  5. https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=35672()
  6. https://www.iea.org/reports/iron-and-steel-technology-roadmap()
  7. https://www.iea.org/reports/coal-fired-electricity states “In 2021 CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants rose to a record 9.7 Gt”. According to the Global Carbon Project, Global Carbon Project. (2022). Supplemental data of Global Carbon Budget 2022 (Version 1.0) [Data set]. Global Carbon Project. https://www.icos-cp.eu/science-and-impact/global-carbon-budget/2022, energy sector CO₂ emissions in 2021 totalled 14.99Gt (coal) + 11.85 (coal) + 7.93 (gas) + 0.42 (flaring) = 35.18GtCO₂, and therefore coal fired electricity generation was responsible for 9.7/35.18 = 27.6% of world energy sector CO₂ emissions.()
  8. https://www.worldometers.info/geography/how-many-countries-are-there-in-the-world/()
  9. https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/data-browser?country=WORLD&fuel=Energy%20supply&indicator=TESbySource()()
  10. The IEA label for primary energy is ‘Total Energy Supply (TES)’.()
  11. The label used by BP is ‘Primary Energy Consumption’.()
  12. The method used by the IEA on their own site uses their own method for TES calculations that rely on accountancy which relatively enlarges the contribution of nuclear energy, and diminishes that from other non-combustibles. This site overcomes this as explained in this website’s guide. The method of primary energy equivalency used by the IEA is the physical energy content method, which applies the following weights to non-combustible energy supplies: Nuclear = 33%, Geothermal heat = 50%, Geothermal electricity = 10%, Solar thermal heat = 100%, Solar thermal electricity = 33%, Hydro, wind, marine and solarPV = 100%. For further information see section A.II.4, Krey V., O. Masera, G. Blanford, T. Bruckner, R. Cooke, K. Fisher-Vanden, H. Haberl, E. Hertwich, E. Kriegler, D. Mueller, S. Paltsev, L. Price, S. Schlömer, D. Ürge-Vorsatz, D. van Vuuren, and T. Zwickel, 2014: Annex II: Metrics & Methodology. In: Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Edenhofer, O., R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, E. Farahani, S. Kadner, K. Seyboth, A. Adler, I. Baum, S. Brunner, P. Eickemeier, B. Kriemann, J. Savolainen, S. Schlömer, C. von Stechow, T. Zwickel and J.C. Minx (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/ipcc_wg3_ar5_annex-ii.pdf()
  13. Substitution method of primary energy equivalency applied to non-combustible data. For more information see this website’s guide.()
  14. The share of marine energy (tidal, wave, etc) is too small to show, at 0.0015%.()
  15. BP does not fully account for biofuels, and these may not be carbon-neutral, as explained at https://www.worldenergydata.org/biofuels/()()()()()()()()()
  16. Biofuels on this website are the summation of solid and liquid biofuels, and therefore ‘Biofuels + Other + Geothermal’ equals the summation of BP’s data for ‘Geo, Biomass and Other’ and ‘Biofuels’.()()()()()()()()()
  17. ‘Non-hydro renewables’ is not shown in lower left hand side chart of BP’s dataset because data for geothermal and other non-hydro renewables is not available separately in BP’s dataset.()
  18. https://www.worldenergydata.org/biofuels/()
  19. Biofuels in BP’s data set may not be renewable. Also there is no means to separate this from geothermal data. Therefore the segment ‘Biofuels + Other + Geothermal’ is shown separately and not grouped with ‘Wind + Solar’ to form a ‘Non-Hydro Renewables’ segment()
  20. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Climate_Change_conference#1995:_COP_1,_Berlin,_Germany()()()
  21. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_crisis_of_2007%E2%80%932008()
  22. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19()