Oil and petroleum products - a statistical overview

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Data extracted in June 2020.

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In 2018, the top oil producer in the EU was Denmark followed by Italy and Romania.

Oil import dependency, 2018 (% of net imports in gross available energy, based on tonnes of oil equivalent)

This article provides an overview of oil statistics covering crude oil as well as petroleum products. Energy statistics are available for all 27 EU Member States and 13 non-EU countries. Data are available for the period 1990 to 2018.

For decades, crude oil and petroleum products have had the largest share in gross inland energy consumption in the EU. Despite decreasing production and fluctuating consumption through the years, crude oil and its derived products remain the largest contributors to energy consumption.

Full article

Production of crude oil

The primary production of crude oil in 2018 in the European Union (EU) reached its lowest point at 21.4 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe). This production peaked in 2004 at 42.5 Mtoe. The top oil producers in the EU in 2018 was Denmark (5.8 Mtoe) followed by Italy (4.7 Mtoe) and Romania (3.4 Mtoe each).

Figure 1: Primary production of crude oil, 1990-2018
(million tonnes of oil equivalent)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_bal_c)

In Norway, one of the key European non-EU crude oil producers, production peaked in 2001 (159.2 Mtoe) and by 2013 it had decreased to less than half (75.1 Mtoe). Since then, Norwegian production increased, reaching 80.7 Mtoe in 2016, but fell in 2017 and 2018 (79.2 Mtoe and 74.5 Mtoe). The United Kingdom is also a key European non-EU crude oil producer. After a peak in 1999 (133.3 Mtoe), the production in the United Kingdom decreased regularly, with the exception of a slight rebound in the period 2014-2016, to reach its lowest point in 2018 (49.3 Mtoe). The EU candidate countries Albania, Serbia and Turkey have some production of crude oil, however on a rather small scale (in total nearly 4.8 Mtoe in 2018). The Energy Community contracting parties Ukraine and Georgia, produced 1.7 Mtoe of crude oil in 2018. These data are presented in Figure 1.

Imports of crude oil

In 2018, total imports of crude oil to the EU amounted to 512.5 million tonnes. The major imports in 2018 came from Russia (151.6 million tonnes), Iraq (44.0 million tonnes), Saudi Arabia (37.8 million tonnes), Norway (36.7 million tonnes) and Kazakhstan (36.5 million tonnes). The Russian imports have remained relatively stable over the past decade. The crude oil imports from Norway have been more than halved over the period 2000-2018, from 82.7 million tonnes to 36.7 million tonnes. On the other hand, Iraq saw a substantial increase from 31.3 million tonnes to 44.0 million tonnes over the same period; the EU imports from Kazakhstan were almost four times higher in 2018 (36.5 million tonnes) as compared to 2000 (9.7 million tonnes). See Table 1 and Figure 2 for the historic evolution since 2000.

Table 1: Crude oil imports by country of origin, EU-27, 2000-2018
(million tonnes)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_ti_oil)

Figure 2: Crude oil imports by country of origin, EU-27, 2000-2018
( million tonnes)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_ti_oil)

Trade in petroleum products

Imports of crude oil are by far the most important component of trade in oil statistics, yet they are complemented by imports of already manufactured petroleum products such as gas/diesel oil (17.7 Mtoe in 2018), naphtha (15.7 Mtoe), liquefied petroleum gas (14.7 Mtoe) and kerosene type jet fuel (10.3 Mtoe). The EU also exports manufactured petroleum products to third countries. In 2018, the EU exported 52.9 Mtoe of motor gasoline and 10.1 Mtoe of fuel oil. Trade of other petroleum products (lubricants, bitumen, other hydrocarbons, etc.) is of a smaller magnitude and in 2018 resulted in net exports of 7.8 Mtoe (see Table 2).

Table 2: Net imports of selected petroleum products, EU-27, in selected years, 1990-2018
(million tonnes of oil equivalent)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_bal_c)

Oil imports dependency

Import dependency on oil is calculated as the ratio of net imports (imports minus exports) to gross inland energy consumption (but including international maritime bunkers) of crude oil and petroleum products. Positive values over 100 % indicate a stock build, while negative dependency rates indicate a net exporter country.

Table 3: Oil import dependency, in selected years, 1990-2018
(% of net imports in gross available energy, based on tonnes of oil equivalent)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_ind_id)

The EU relied on net imports (imports minus exports) for 94.6 % of the petroleum and oil products consumed in 2018. The dependency on foreign oil in the last few years is at its peak, the highest rate being recorded in 2015 (96.7 %). The lowest import dependency for oil was observed in 1995, namely a rate of 92.9 %. Detailed national data are available in Table 3.

Sectoral oil dependency

Sectoral oil dependency refers to the ratio of oil consumption in a specific sector to the total fuel consumption of that sector. The dependence on oil for transport and for fishing is the highest of all sectors, although both decreased in 2018 compared with 1990 (see Table 4). In 2018, the residential and services sectors’ dependency on oil has also decreased to 11.6 and 8.2 %, respectively.

Table 4: Sectoral oil dependency, EU-27, in selected years, 1990-2018
Source: Eurostat (nrg_bal_c)

Use of petroleum products

The production of electricity from fossil fuels, especially from oil products, is slowly diminishing, even though a slight rebound has been observed in 2016 and 2017. Many of the existing oil-fired plants are kept only as a part of the power reserve margin, using mainly fuel oil and gas/diesel oil.

In the last ten years the final energy consumption of petroleum products (excluding international shipping and aviation) has globally dropped below the 1990's level. The final energy consumption of individual petroleum products is shown in Figure 3. Gas/diesel oil and gasoline (listed in order of significance) are by far the two most important products throughout the whole 27-year-period, although demonstrating different evolution patterns.

Figure 3: Final energy consumption of petroleum products, EU-27, 1990-2018
( million tonnes of oil equivalent)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_bal_c)

For international aviation the leading petroleum product is kerosene-type jet fuel, which more than doubled since 1990 reaching 41 Mtoe in 2018. For international shipping (maritime bunkers) the most consumed product is the fuel oil, which reached 43 Mtoe in 2018 demonstrating an increase of 30 % as compared to 1990.

The consumption of petroleum products by sector is shown in Figure 4. In 2018, the transport sector was by far the main consumer of petroleum products. Within the transport sector, road transport is the key consumer with 47.5 %. Petroleum products are also used for non-energy purposes, which is the second highest sector with 14.1 % of consumption after transport. Non-energy consumption includes, for example, bitumen for road surfaces, the use of lubricants for reducing friction as well as the use of oil products in the chemical industry for chemical properties rather than energy content (combustion).

Figure 4: Consumption of oil, EU-27, 2018
Source: Eurostat (nrg_bal_c)

Figure 5 and Figure 6 present additional information about oil consumption in the transport sector. This sector has slightly reduced its dependency on oil due to the use of liquid biofuels. Nevertheless, the dependency on oil in 2019 is still very high (91.6 %) as compared to 1990 (97.5 %), while in absolute terms the quantities of petroleum products used in the transport sector were roughly 20 % higher in 2018 (287 Mtoe) compared to 1990 (221 Mtoe). All other fuels (e.g. gas, electricity, etc.), despite a small increase over the years, still play a minor role in transport.

Figure 5: Use of fuels in transport, EU-27, 1990 and 2018
Source: Eurostat (nrg_bal_c)

Figure 6: Use of fuels in transport, EU-27, 1990-2018
(million tonnes of oil equivalent)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_bal_c)

When looking at the detailed consumption of fuels in transport, we can see a significant change over the last 28 years. Gas/diesel oil overtook motor gasoline as the most used fuel in 1998. In 2018, almost three times as much diesel was consumed for transport compared to gasoline. (Figure 6). The imbalance in the EU production (refinery output) and EU demand (inland consumption) was addressed via international trade (import/export statistics presented earlier in Table 2, which shows exports of gasoline and imports of diesel).

Source data for tables and graphs

Data sources

Data on energy are submitted on the basis of an internationally agreed methodology in joint annual energy questionnaires (Eurostat - OECD/IEA - UNECE). Data are available for all EU Member States and the methodology is harmonised for all reporting countries. Consequently, data comparability across countries is very high.


Crude oil and petroleum products have the highest share of energy consumption in the EU. Several policy initiatives are tackling the security of energy supplies as well as environmental and climate aspects of oil production and consumption. Consequently, there are several challenges due in part to the decreasing long-term trend of the demand in the EU (among others due to structural changes in the economy, more efficient use of oil products and in transport substitution by biofuels or electricity) and imbalance in supply/demand (for example increasing EU gasoil/diesel/jet fuel demand and shrinking gasoline demand).

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Energy statistics - main indicators (t_nrg_indic)
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