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June 16, 2006

Who’s using oil?

The increase in the world’s use of oil in recent years is a big reason for the jump in oil and gas prices. But who’s buying all this extra oil? Dr. Mike Walden has the answer.

"It’s not all the U.S.’s fault," says Dr. Walden, an economist at N.C. State University. "In fact, if we look at the change in oil usage by country for the last four years we see that 17 percent -- only 17 percent -- of the new oil consumption over the last five years has been from the U.S.

"Only 5 percent has been from Europe. And Japan -- one of the other major countries in the world that uses oil – Japan has actually reduced its use of oil.

"So who is using all this extra oil that has been produced and consumed?

"Well, China," Walden says. "China accounts for over than a third of the rise in oil usage from 2001 to 2005. And other countries in Asia -– like India –- as well as in Africa account for the rest.

"What’s happened here is it’s the emerging countries –- China, India, those in Asia and Africa -- that have really increased the world’s use of oil."

Posted by deeshore at June 16, 2006 08:00 AM