The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Monday that in 2012 the world's appetite for fuel hit a record of 88.9 million barrels per day.
EIA measured global use of jet fuel, diesel fuel, gasoline, heating oil and other petroleum products.
Last year, consumption increased in Asia. EIA previously reported that China would surpass the United States as a net importer of oil on an annual basis starting in 2014. The country is predicted to surpass the United States as the largest importer on a per-month basis in October.
"Petroleum use in North America, which is dominated by consumption in the United States, has declined since 2005," EIA wrote in its most recent report. "Declines in petroleum consumption in the United States in 2008 and 2009 occurred during the economic downturn. Increased consumption in 2010 reflected improving economic conditions. In 2011 and 2012, higher oil prices and increased fuel efficiency of light-duty vehicles contributed to reduced U.S. consumption. Motor gasoline consumption, which makes up almost half of total U.S. liquids fuel consumption, fell by 290,000 bbl/d between 2010 and 2012 as the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards led to improvements in vehicle fuel economy that outpaced highway travel growth."
The administration points to rapid industrialization in India and China as major drivers of the Asia region's energy use. - Jon Ross