Every day, millions of barrels of oil are consumed in industry, transportation, and homes. Over the years, in spite of increasing efficiency, oil consumption continues to rise.
A recent video, released by the US Energy Information Administration [EIA], shows, not only the overall increase in oil consumption, but which regions of the world are using it. Over the last thirty years, petroleum-dependent systems, and the people that use them, have become more efficient, reducing oil consumption. However, despite these improvements, global oil consumption rises, driven by economic development in regions that are less technologically advanced.
From what I can tell of the video, fast economic growth, such as that occurring in India and China, is increasing oil consumption there. By 2009, North America had ceased to be the world’s largest consumer of petroleum, while in just four years from 2008 to 2012, China has increased its oil consumption by 2.8 million barrels per day, India has increased its oil consumption by 800,000 barrels per day, for a total consumption of some 28 million barrels per day.. In the next couple of months, China, alone, is expected to outpace the United States as world’s top petroleum importer.
Unfortunately, the growth has been at the cost of the environment. Less-advanced automobile technology, for example, is much cheaper to develop and sell, meaning cars are becoming more commonplace than ever before. These dirty vehicles are being sold by the thousands, just cheap enough to function as inefficient transportation, filling the atmosphere with pollutants. Economic growth is good, but the effects of poor efficiency will cost much more later on.