Oil and petroleum consumption dipped in 2020

Take note – story published 1 year ago

In 2020, the final consumption of oil and petroleum products for energy purposes in the EU fell by 10% to 310 Mtoe (million or mega tonnes of oil equivalent) in just one year, reaching the lowest level ever recorded in the 31-year time series.

This shows the effects of the COVID restrictions, which started in the first few months of 2020 in most EU Member States, according to latest Eurostat figures.

Consumption also fell in Latvia, but by far less: from 2019 to 2020 the reduction was just -1.27%. Latvia's consumption of oil and petroleum products accounted for only 0.35% of the EU total.

Oil and petroleum consumption in EU 2019-20
Oil and petroleum consumption in EU 2019-20

From a high of 408 Mtoe in 2004, the consumption reached a low point in 2014 at 333 Mtoe and had started increasing again before the shock of the pandemic restrictions.

In 2020, the pandemic-related restrictions affected consumption in the Member States to different degrees. Considering energy and non-energy use, the largest drops in consumption were recorded in Luxembourg (-21% compared with 2019), followed by Malta (-16%) and Greece, Spain, Sweden and Slovenia (all -15%). Small increases in consumption were recorded only in Finland and Slovakia (around +0.4%).

In 2020, other record-breaking figures emerged on oil and petroleum products. These include the highest import dependency (97%), the lowest level in crude oil production (18.7 million tonnes) and the sharpest drop in petroleum products production (-12% compared with 2019). 

The countries’ relative share of total final EU consumption is affected by the size and structure of their economies, with Germany continuing to lead (23%), followed by France (16%), Italy and Spain (both 10%).

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