191,374 litres of Crude Oil Consumed per Second

According to the Lloyds List site (here), which—as far as I can work out—has something to do with Lloyds Shipping in the UK, the world hit a peak usage milestone for crude oil on the 14th April this year (14/4/2010). On this day the world consumed 86.6 million barrels of crude oil. Just so you can see the zeros that is 86,600,000 barrels. Or, in gallons, it looks like this: 3,637,200,000.

For those of us working in litres it works out to something like 16.5 billion litres; per day.

This is a staggering 191,374 litres of crude consumed per second—every second of the day.

The following graph shows the top 20 oil consuming countries.


The graph shows daily consumption of crude in barrels. A barrel of crude, for anyone interested, is equal to 42 US gallons.

I did a Top 20—instead of a Top 10—because then Australia scrapes in as the 20th highest consumer.

It is amazing enough that the world has the technology to suck crude out of the ground at such a rate. But then it has to be transported around the globe in tankers and via pipelines in order to be delivered to refineries to be refined into the various fuels and other products.

As the world recovers from the clutches of the Global Financial Crisis it is expected that the demand for crude will increase.

Based on current trends, China’s and India’s growth, and some gap filling by alternative energy sources, according to the AllBusiness site (here) the world’s thirst for crude will increase by a staggering 34 percent by the year 2020 when 116.1 million barrels will be required. The only problem with this is that current production data, based on existing and forecast crude discoveries, indicates that—optimistically, everything working as it should—only 114 million barrels of supply is possible.

So life could become interesting as we approach 2020 and the supply of oil cannot meet the consumption requirements.