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Oil and petroleum products in the EU: Production falls, import dependency grows


The Statistical Office of the European Union presented an overview of oil statistics for the 27 EU member states and several European countries outside the Union. The statistical overview covers crude oil as well as petroleum products for the period from 1990 to 2020. This data is important in the context that petroleum products play a huge role, accounting for the largest share of gross domestic energy consumption in the EU. Overall, the EU registered record low levels of both production and imports of oil and petroleum products in 2020, much of it due to the pandemic restrictions. Here are the main findings:

Production of crude oil. After the production peak in 2004 (41.7 million tons (Mt)), crude oil production in the European Union (EU) went down, reaching a record low of 18.7 mt in 2020. Italy (5.4 Mt), Denmark (3.5 Mt) and Romania (3.3 Mt) are the leaders in EU oil production in 2020.

Imports of crude oil. EU crude oil imports in 2020 were also at a record low, totaling 440.3 million tons and representing the sharpest annual drop (-13.2 % compared to 2019) ever registered. Russia is the top supplier (113.0 Mt), ahead of Norway (38.2 Mt), Kazakhstan (37.3 Mt), the United States (35.5 Mt) and Saudi Arabia (34.6 Mt). In 2020, the EU relied on net imports of crude oil and petroleum products for 96.96% of its energy supply, a record level of import dependence.

Production of petroleum products. A similar trend is observed in the petroleum products production market – 504.8 million tons of petroleum products produced in 2020 is the lowest figure at the EU level since 1990 and the steepest drop in the history of observation (-11.9% compared to 2019). Germany was the largest producer (94.3 Mtoe), followed by Italy (61.5 Mtoe), the Netherlands (56.7 Mtoe) and Spain (56.6 Mtoe). Products produced in the EU in 2020 are mainly gas/diesel (215.6 Mtoe), motor gasoline (90.7 Mtoe), fuel oil (47.2 Mtoe) and naphtha (40.3 Mtoe).

Final consumption. Final consumption of oil and petroleum products in EU member states decreased by 8.9% in one year reaching 384.0 (million toe) in 2020, which is also a record low since 1990. The largest percentage declines were in Luxembourg (-21.4%), Malta (-15.7%) and Greece, Spain, Sweden, Slovenia and Italy (between -14% and -15%). In 2020, Germany accounted for 22.5% of total EU final consumption, followed by France (15.6%), Italy (9.8%) and Spain (9.7%). For more information by country, see the graphic below.

The largest amount of petroleum products is consumed in the transport sector – 61.5% of total consumption, out of which 47.6% in road transport with gas/diesel oil (66.46 %) and motor gasoline (23.91 %) as dominating fuels.