Key Oil Trends 2017

12 April 2018

Despite the effects of Hurricane Harvey in 2017, the United States increased production by 4.7% (Photograph: Shutterstock)

Oil Production1,2

Total OECD annual production of crude oil, NGL3, and refinery feedstocks increased by 2.6% in 2017 compared to 2016. This trend was driven by the OECD Americas (+3.5%), whilst production decreased in OECD Asia Oceania (-8.7%) and OECD Europe (-1.1%).

The United States experienced the highest growth, in absolute terms, despite the effects of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, increasing production by 4.7% or 25 million metric tons (Mt). Canadian production also grew (+7.8%) on an annual basis, partially due to the recovery from the 2016 wildfires in Alberta. Meanwhile, Mexico experienced the largest decline  (-9.6%) in production amongst OECD countries.

OECD Europe’s production decline was driven by Norway (-0.8%) and the United Kingdom (-2.0%). Italy’s production recovered by 8.6% as the Val d'Agri field restarted production.

The decline in OECD Asia Oceania’s production was primarily due to Australia, where production fell by 9.6% or 1.5 Mt.

The OECD Americas was responsible for 83% of the crude oil and NGL produced within the total OECD, as seen below. Over half the total OECD production came from the United States alone which hit a new production record in 2017.

Refinery Gross Output (Production)

Refinery gross output of total products within the OECD increased by 1.2% or 23.2 Mt in 2017 with all OECD regions contributing to this growth.

OECD Europe’s output grew (+1.9%) despite the fire incidents at the Pernis refinery in the Netherlands and the Leuna refinery in Germany. Total gasoline was the only product category experiencing a decline (-1.2%) in the region.

The OECD Americas’ growth (+0.8%) was led by the United States (+1.4%), in absolute terms, followed by Canada (+6.4%). Mexican output declined (-19.0%), partially due to the fire incident at the Salina Cruz refinery, while Chile’s output remained relatively flat (+0.3%).

Growth in OECD Asia (+0.8%) was driven by Korea (+5.2%), where notably the output of naphtha increased by 15.7%. Japan’s reduced output (-2.5%) was primarily due to a 15.9% decline in residual fuel oil output.

The ratio of refinery gross output to net deliveries (to the domestic market) for the OECD regions in total remained unchanged at 105.9% in 2017 compared to 2016. As seen in the figure below, OECD Europe’s refinery gross output of gasoline was much higher than the net deliveries of gasoline. The OECD Americas had the same excess output for middle distillates. Meanwhile, OECD Asia Oceania’s refinery gross output was higher than net deliveries for both gasoline and middle distillates.

Oil Trade4

Total imports of crude oil, NGL, and refinery feedstocks to individual OECD countries were 1.6% higher in 2017 compared to 2016. OECD Europe and OECD Asia Oceania increased their imports by 3.6% and 0.8%, respectively, while the OECD Americas’ imports remained approximately unchanged (-0.2%).

Overall OECD imports of crude oil, NGL, and refinery feedstocks from Iran and Libya increased significantly by 43.4% and 30.3%, respectively, while imports from Angola decreased by 37.4%. Imports from Saudi Arabia and the Russian Federation declined by 4.5% and 1.6%, respectively, however they remained the largest exporters to the OECD regions.

Total imports of total products to individual OECD countries increased by 2.2% in 2017 compared to 2016. Growth in absolute terms was led by OECD Europe (+1.3%) followed by the OECD Americas (+3.5%) and OECD Asia Oceania (+3.8%). Notably, imports of residual fuel oil decreased across all OECD regions, by 19.9% in total.

Overall, the OECD continues to be a net exporter of refined products with exports increasing by 5.4% in 2017 compared to the previous year. Exports of crude oil, NGL, and feedstocks increased by 10.3% in 2017 with the largest volumes destined for the United States, mainly from Canada and the Far East.5

Oil Net Deliveries6

Net deliveries of refined products in the OECD grew by 1.2% in 2017 reflecting strong growth in OECD Europe (+2.6%) followed by the OECD Americas (+0.7%) and OECD Asia Oceania (+0.3%).

The increase in net deliveries in OECD Europe can be attributed to naphtha (+8.1%) and total kerosene (+5.3%). Gas/diesel oil net deliveries, the largest refined product category in the region, grew by 2.8% on average, but Turkey experienced an 8.8% growth.

In the OECD Americas, net deliveries of total kerosene and residual fuel oil grew by 4.8% and 14.8%, respectively. LPG net deliveries in the region declined by 7.7% in 2017, mainly driven by the United States (-7.9%).

In OECD Asia Oceania, net deliveries of residual fuel oil fell by 25.8% in 2017 as Japanese deliveries declined (-20.6%). Naphtha net deliveries in the region increased by 6.4%, mainly due to Korea (+9.2%). Gas/diesel oil net delivery growth was also notable in the region at 6.4% where Australia saw a 16.7% increase.

Oil Stocks

Total stocks of total oil on national territories within the OECD decreased by 4.6% in 2017 reaching 533 Mt. The stocks drawdown was highest in the OECD Americas (-7.4%) followed by OECD Europe (-3.0%) and OECD Asia Oceania (-0.7%).

The OECD Americas’ drop in stocks of crude oil, NGL, and feedstocks was the largest in magnitude at 14.8 Mt. This trend was driven by the start of the United States’ multi-year plan in 2017 to reduce crude oil stocks within their Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

In OECD Europe, total products stocks decreased by 5.2 Mt while crude oil, NGL and feedstocks stocks decreased by 0.5 Mt.

Stocks in OECD Asia Oceania were relatively stable in 2017 across all the region’s countries. Stocks of crude oil, NGL and feedstocks were reduced by 1.1 Mt while refined products stocks increased by 0.4 Mt.

Key Oil Trends 2017 is also available as a PDF download.


1 - All annual comparisons are based on monthly data in 2017 compared to monthly data in 2016.

2- Includes crude oil, NGL, refinery feedstocks, additives and other hydrocarbons

3- Natural Gas Liquids

4- Trade amounts include intra-regional trade

5- People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Viet Nam, Non-listed Far East

6- Gross inland deliveries observed minus backflows

For any questions or comments, please contact mos@iea.org. Please note that all IEA data are subject to the following Terms and Conditions

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