EI Statistical Review: The Numbers Are In—American Energy Reigns Supreme

American energy continues to dominate as U.S. oil and natural gas are credited with playing a key role in meeting domestic and global energy demands in 2023.  

The Energy Institute’s (EI) 2024 Statistical Review of World Energy provides numerical insights into global energy production, consumption, trade, and emissions from 2023, and highlights the United States’ rapid growth in domestic energy: 

“Over the past two decades, North America’s energy system has been transformed by the growth in unconventional oil and gas that began in the early 2000s. As a result, in the past 10 years the region has moved from being a net importer of energy to a net exporter.” 

In honor of the report’s release, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) hosted a roundtable of industry experts. Together, the experts discussed the findings of the report and answered questions from their industry peers. The panel included:  

  • Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman of S&P Global; 
  • Anna Mikulska, Research Staff Member for the Institute for Defense Analyses; 
  • Joseph Majkut, Director of the CSIS Energy Security and Climate Change Program; 
  • Nick Wayth, Chief Executive, Energy Institute; 
  • Kevin Book (Moderator), Managing Director, ClearView Energy Partners. 

Here’s what you need to know, according to the experts and the report:  

2023 marks a return to pre-pandemic conditions  

2023 marked the first year since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that global energy production and consumption returned to 2019 pre-pandemic levels—largely due to China opening up after years of strict lockdown policies. In 2023, total global energy consumption grew by two percent over the 2022 level. 

Source: EI 

U.S. oil production reigned supreme with the United States growing its production by eight percent—maintaining the title of largest oil producer in the world.  

The report goes on to explain that for North America, oil production was “16 percent above its domestic consumption whilst gas production sat at 14 percent above its demand level.”  

Source: EI 

In total, global oil production reached a record 96 million b/d. Similarly, consumption of oil products exceeded 100 million b/d highlighting the critical role oil plays in every day lives

Source: EI 

U.S. natural gas looms large 

Notably, the report states that the United States is also the largest producer of natural gas, delivering “around a quarter of the world’s [natural gas] supply,” and became the largest exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG) for the first time in 2023, seeing a supply increase of nearly ten percent.   

From the report 

“The Russian Federation’s share of EU gas imports fell from 43 percent in 2021 to 23 percent in 2022, and then a further 14 percent in 2023 to sit behind Norway and the US. In just ten years, LNG exports from the US rocketed from just 0.2 bcm in 2013 to 114 bcm in 2023, making it the world’s leading LNG supplier, moving ahead of Qatar and Australia in 2023.” (emphasis added) 

This underscores a key argument as to the ineffectiveness of the Biden administration’s ill-advised and politically driven pause on LNG exports— a pause taken to gain favor with environmental activists and recently struck down by a federal judge. This data shows that U.S. LNG drastically helped reduce reliance on Russian gas, particularly from allied countries, helping to spread global energy and national security.  

Similarly, cutting off U.S. LNG does not reduce emissions. Nick Wayth, chief executive for the Energy Institute, explained this further when analyzing why natural gas production and demand remained relatively stable in 2023:  

“I was equally puzzled as to why overall gas is absolutely flat year on year… but effectively what happens—Europe has sucked all that gas in. Countries where that gas would have gone, India, China to some degree, have been doubling down on coal.” (emphasis added) 

Wayth continued 

“Europe has, once again, exported its carbon emissions to countries that are unwilling or unable to pay the price that Europe was for natural gas.”  

Source: EI 

Developing nations have also not shied away from relying on Russian oil to meet their energy needs—a problem that will be exasperated should the pause remain. On this, Anna Mikulska, a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses explained 

“[W]e’ve seen the willingness, especially in India, to just bring in cheaper energy and build their economy with Russian oil.” 

Fossil fuels remain key to energy security  

Similarly, the EI report emphasized the unparalleled role fossil fuels play in maintaining domestic and global energy security—particularly in the face of rising demand. Fossil fuels were consumed at far greater levels than any other energy resource in 2023.   

Source: EI 

Furthermore, fossil fuels continue to underpin many developing countries’ growth, accounting for 84 percent of non-OECD country’s energy mix. As reported by EI:  

“It is estimated that globally around 750 million people – 1 out of 10 – do not have access to electricity to light their homes, refrigerate their food, or keep cool in rising temperatures.” 

This is a number that would be far higher without the critical energy supplied by oil and natural gas which help bring global energy security to families, businesses, and economies.   

Bottom Line: Global energy production and consumption reached new records in 2023 with American energy playing a critical role in meeting this increased demand while providing energy security. However, the EI report also underscores what happens when American energy is diminished and made unavailable to those who need it. Countries don’t go without energy—they simply turn to hostile nations or higher-carbon-intensive energy sources instead of affordable, reliable, and cleaner American oil and natural gas.  

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