In 2011, crude oil provided for about 33.1% of the world's energy demand, resulting in the consumption of about 88 million barrels of oil per day. Taken together, fossil fuels (crude oil, coal, and natural gas) supplied about 87% of the world's energy. Natural gas is the lead energy source in Europe and Eurasia, while coal leads in the Asia Pacific region. Crude oil is the primary energy/fuel source in Africa, the Middle East, North America, and South & Central America. Although coal registered the second highest increase (5.4%) in worldwide demand among all energy sources and provided for about 30.3% of world energy consumption, oil and gas still dominated the world energy market in 2011, providing for about 56.7% of world energy consumption. In a repeat of the events of 2008, crude oil prices once again went above $100 per barrel in 2011.
It seems obvious from the aforementioned figures that the demand for petroleum-based fuels can only either remain at its currently high levels or go up even higher. The pace of oil exploration and drilling at numerous sites around the world seems to have picked up considerably, probably as a reaction to the predominantly upward trend in worldwide crude oil prices. (Natural gas prices in North America are currently lower than the world average.)
Among recent developments in oil-and-gas exploration/drilling/production activities around the world include an increase in the number of exploration and appraisal wells (to a total of 18) on the UK continental shelf as a result of the granting of tax incentives by the UK government, and Chevron's commencement of the design phase for the development of the deepwater Rosebank-Lochnagar oil and gas field located about 130 km to the northwest of Shetland Islands.
Meanwhile in the Caucasus, Total, OMV, and Repsol recently acquired exploration rights on the 14,440-square-km Khan Asparuh deepwater gas field off Bulgaria's Black Sea coast. This field lies just 15 km to the south of a large and recently discovered natural gas field in Romanian waters. Drilling on the Khan Asparuh is planned to start by late 2013.
A July 2012 OPEC report on Kazakhstan's oil production predicts a daily production rate increase of 0.10 million barrels to a total output of 1.72 million barrels a day once commercial production at the giant offshore Kashagan Field starts by early 2013.
In Southeast Asia, Sweden's Lundin Petroleum (with co-investors PETRONAS Carigali and Nio Petroleum) has started drilling at the shallow-water Tiga Papan 5 well off the coast of Sabah, Malaysia. Tiga Papan 5, which has a target depth of 1670 meters, is the first out of five appraisal wells Lundin and its partners have scheduled for drilling in offshore Malaysia. Also, Eni, KrisEnergy, and Neon Energy are currently negotiating for a 3D-seismic mapping survey of two Vietnamese offshore exploration areas with a combined acreage of 15,600 square kilometers. The offshore concessions are located in the Song Hong and Phu Khanh basins of the Gulf of Tonkin. Two exploration wells are also included in the proposed survey.
A recently released study conducted by the US Geological Survey estimates that there could be about “5.3 billion barrels of [technically recoverable] crude oil, 43.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 0.8 billion barrels of natural gas liquids” located within Russia's North Sakhalin Basin Province.
New Zealand Energy has started commercial oil and gas production at its Copper Moki-3 well with average flow rates of 242 barrels of oil per day and 135,000 cubic feet of natural gas per day.
Oil exploration and development projects are also underway in Latin American countries notably Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Cuba, Guatemala, and in several East African nations where significant oil and gas prospects have recently been discovered.