Europe’s Gas Storage Compared to Historical Consumption
In the wake of the energy crisis, Europe has been rushing to cut ties with Russian gas.
In 2021, Russia accounted for around 45% of the EU’s gas imports. As of August 2022, that figure was around 17%.
However, reducing reliance on Russian gas after years of dependence has put Europe in a precarious situation ahead of winter. To reduce the possibility of an energy crunch in the heating season, the EU bloc set a target to fill 80% of its underground gas storage by November 1.
This infographic puts Europe’s current gas storage levels in perspective by comparing them with annual gas consumption in 2021, based on data from Gas Infrastructure Europe as of November 28, 2022.
Heat For the Winter
As winter approaches, many European countries have near-full gas storage levels, with the overall EU gas storage 94% full. But comparing storage with annual consumption paints a different picture.
|Country||Total Storage Capacity (TWh)||% of Storage Filled||Storage as a % of Annual Consumption|
|🇨🇿 Czech Republic||44||96%||46%|
*Ukraine and UK are non-EU countries. Nine EU countries that are not on the list do not have any gas storage sites.
Ukraine has the largest storage capacity, and while it’s only 30% full, it represents nearly 40% of the country’s annual gas consumption. However, Russia’s continuing attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure may squeeze supplies as temperatures drop.
The Nations at Risk of Running Low on Gas
Germany, Europe’s biggest economy and largest importer of Russian gas, has almost completely filled its gas storage. Despite this, storage supplies only amount to 27% of annual German gas consumption. Given that half of all German households use natural gas for heating, these stocks are especially important as winter peaks.
While storage facilities in countries like Poland, Spain, and Belgium are over 90% full, they represent only a fraction of annual gas consumption at 15%, 10%, and 5% respectively. Meanwhile, countries like Austria and Latvia have stored more gas than they consume in an entire year.
The UK’s gas storage is full but makes up just 1% of its annual consumption. The majority of UK homes rely on gas for heating, and it also accounts for 30% of electricity generation. A gas crunch could lead to both higher heating and electricity prices for UK residents.
What’s Next for Europe’s Gas Crisis?
This year, warmer-than-normal temperatures and efforts to reduce gas consumption have both played important roles in controlling Europe’s energy crisis before winter sets in.
However, the region’s reliance on Russia was decades in the making, and replacing it won’t be easy. EU countries’ gas storage sites are likely to be depleted by the spring of 2023. Without pipeline gas from Russia, Europe will have limited import capacity, and filling gas storage sites for next winter could be challenging.
Europe is undertaking a number of initiatives to combat the crisis. Countries in the region (including the UK) have pledged over $700 billion to reduce energy costs for households and to meet the liquidity needs of power companies. This, along with lower consumer demand due to high gas prices, will help lessen the impacts of the crisis in the short term.
However, looking ahead to 2023 and 2024, if gas prices remain high, industrial production is likely to fall as producers cut costs. Combined with low consumer confidence and high inflation, a fall in industrial output will likely exacerbate a potential recession, should things unfold that way.
Ranked: The World’s Biggest Oil Producers
Just three countries—the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Russia—make up the lion’s share of global oil supply. Here are the world’s biggest oil producers.
Ranked: The World’s Biggest Oil Producers
This visualization originally appeared on Visual Capitalist
In 2022 oil prices peaked at more than $100 per barrel, hitting an eight-year high, after a full year of turmoil in the energy markets in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Oil companies doubled their profits and the economies of the biggest oil producers in the world got a major boost.
But which countries are responsible for most of the world’s oil supply? Using data from the Statistical Review of World Energy by the Energy Institute, we’ve visualized and ranked the world’s biggest oil producers.
Ranked: Oil Production By Country, in 2022
The U.S. has been the world’s biggest oil producer since 2018 and continued its dominance in 2022 by producing close to 18 million barrels per day (B/D). This accounted for nearly one-fifth of the world’s oil supply.
Almost three-fourths of the country’s oil production is centered around five states: Texas, New Mexico, North Dakota, Alaska, and Colorado.
We rank the other major oil producers in the world below.
|YoY Change||Share of
|2||🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||12,136||+10.8%||12.9%|
|36||🇸🇸 South Sudan||141||-7.6%||0.2%|
|51||Other Middle East||210||+1.2%||0.2%|
|54||Other Asia Pacific||177||-10.6%||0.2%|
|55||Other S. &|
Behind America’s considerable lead in oil production, Saudi Arabia (ranked 2nd) produced 12 million B/D, accounting for about 13% of global supply.
Russia came in third with 11 million B/D in 2022. Together, these top three oil producing behemoths, along with Canada (4th) and Iraq (5th), make up more than half of the entire world’s oil supply.
Meanwhile, the top 10 oil producers, including those ranked 6th to 10th—China, UAE, Iran, Brazil, and Kuwait—are responsible for more than 70% of the world’s oil production.
Notably, all top 10 oil giants increased their production between 2021–2022, and as a result, global output rose 4.2% year-on-year.
Major Oil Producing Regions in 2022
The Middle East accounts for one-third of global oil production and North America makes up almost another one-third of production. The Commonwealth of Independent States—an organization of post-Soviet Union countries—is another major regional producer of oil, with a 15% share of world production.
|YoY Change||Share of
|South & Central|
What’s starkly apparent in the data however is Europe’s declining share of oil production, now at 3% of the world’s supply. In the last 20 years the EU’s oil output has dropped by more than 50% due to a variety of factors, including stricter environmental regulations and a shift to natural gas.
Another lens to look at regional production is through OPEC members, which control about 35% of the world’s oil output and about 70% of the world’s oil reserves.
When taking into account the group of 10 oil exporting countries OPEC has relationships with, known as OPEC+, the share of oil production increases to more than half of the world’s supply.
Oil’s Big Balancing Act
Since it’s the very lifeblood of the modern economy, the countries that control significant amounts of oil production also reap immense political and economic benefits. Entire regions have been catapulted into prosperity and wars have been fought over the control of the resource.
At the same time, the ongoing effort to pivot to renewable energy is pushing many major oil exporters to diversify their economies. A notable example is Saudi Arabia, whose sovereign wealth fund has invested in companies like Uber and WeWork.
However, the world still needs oil, as it supplies nearly one-third of global energy demand.
What Electricity Sources Power the World?
Coal still leads the charge when it comes to electricity, representing 35% of global power generation.
What Powered the World in 2022?
In 2022, 29,165.2 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity was generated around the world, an increase of 2.3% from the previous year.
In this visualization, we look at data from the latest Statistical Review of World Energy, and ask what powered the world in 2022.
Coal is Still King
Coal still leads the charge when it comes to electricity, representing 35.4% of global power generation in 2022, followed by natural gas at 22.7%, and hydroelectric at 14.9%.
Over three-quarters of the world’s total coal-generated electricity is consumed in just three countries. China is the top user of coal, making up 53.3% of global coal demand, followed by India at 13.6%, and the U.S. at 8.9%.
Burning coal—for electricity, as well as metallurgy and cement production—is the world’s single largest source of CO2 emissions. Nevertheless, its use in electricity generation has actually grown 91.2% since 1997, the year when the first global climate agreement was signed in Kyoto, Japan.
Renewables on the Rise
However, even as non-renewables enjoy their time in the sun, their days could be numbered.
In 2022, renewables, such as wind, solar, and geothermal, represented 14.4% of total electricity generation with an extraordinary annual growth rate of 14.7%, driven by big gains in solar and wind. Non-renewables, by contrast, only managed an anemic 0.4%.
The authors of the Statistical Review do not include hydroelectric in their renewable calculations, even though many others, including the International Energy Agency, consider it a “well-established renewable power technology.”
With hydroelectric moved into the renewable column, together they accounted for over 29.3% of all electricity generated in 2022, with an annual growth rate of 7.4%.
France’s Nuclear Horrible Year
Another big mover in this year’s report was nuclear energy.
In addition to disruptions at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, shutdowns in France’s nuclear fleet to address corrosion found in the safety injection systems of four reactors led to a 4% drop in global use, year-over-year.
The amount of electricity generated by nuclear energy in that country dropped 22% to 294.7 TWh in 2022. As a result, France went from being the world’s biggest exporter of electricity, to a net importer.
Powering the Future
Turning mechanical energy into electrical energy is a relatively straightforward process. Modern power plants are engineering marvels, to be sure, but they still work on the same principle as the very first generator invented by Michael Faraday in 1831.
But how you get the mechanical energy is where things get complicated: coal powered the first industrial revolution, but heated the planet in the process; wind is free and clean, but is unreliable; and nuclear fission reliably generates emission-free electricity, but also creates radioactive waste.
With temperature records being set around the world in the summer, resolving these tensions isn’t just academic and next year’s report could be a crucial test of the world’s commitment to a clean energy future.
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