The 2010 edition of the BP Statistical review of World energy came out this month. BP’s Statistical review has been published for 59 years. It provides data on energy consumption, production, and reserves for all of the world’s major fuels broken down by country. Any investor seriously considering investing in energy commodities or companies should not be without the BP Statistical Review. It is an invaluable resource for investors, economists, industry executives, and even government officials. I keep a copy of the report on my desk—usually buried under piles of annual reports and 10Ks. I reference the report frequently throughout the year. The BP review is mostly made up of tables, charts, and maps—there isn’t really much text in the report, sans an introduction by Tony-I-want-my-life-back-Hayward, BP’s CEO.
After thumbing through this year’s report, I jotted down five items I thought Youngresearch.com readers may find interesting. Below are five energy insights from the 2010 BP Statistical Review.
1.) Hydroelectric power generation was the world’s fastest-growing major fuel for a second consecutive year. Hydro power is also the world’s number one renewable fuel. Solar and Wind are of course growing much faster than Hydro, but neither is considered a major fuel today.
2.) The United States was the #1 producer of natural gas in 2009. Shale gas has of course been the great enabler here. U.S. natural gas production is up 12% over the last five years.
3.) The world’s largest consumer of coal by a factor of more than three is China. In 2009, Chinese coal consumption increased 9.6% while OECD (developed world) coal consumption fell 10.4%.
4.) The United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal. The U.S. owns 29% of world coal reserves.
5.) Despite not having built a new nuclear power plant in decades, the United States is the world’s largest consumer of nuclear energy using twice the nuclear power of France, the world’s second largest consumer of nuclear power.
Jeremy Jones, CFA
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