Oil consumption in Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, is growing at a sluggish pace as low energy prices hurt economic growth, the Daily Star reported. According to the Times Of Oman, the kingdom’s demand for oil increased by only about 24,000b/d from January to May 2016, the slowest growth rate since 2010.
Similarly, consumption of refined products such as gasoline and kerosene contracted in 2016 has fallen by 22,000b/d marking the first decline since 2002. Demand has curbed after the oil-rich nation cut back on fuel subsidies to constrain government spending due to declining oil prices.
The drop in demand in the kingdom came despite previous reports by the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasting a rise in 2016.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has boosted crude output to sustain export income for years to come, while also satisfying domestic demand. The kingdom’s energy consumption usually spikes between June and September when air-conditioning use peaks.