Infographic: How the price of gasoline has changed (2001-2021) | Infographic News
Gasoline prices are approaching historic highs in many countries around the world as growing demand and supply shortages send global oil prices to a nearly three-year high.
In 2001, the global average price of gasoline was around $ 0.60 per liter, and filling an average family sedan cost around $ 30. Today it’s $ 1.20 – $ 30 will buy you half a tank.
High fuel prices are part of a global energy crisis that has caused major disruptions in China, the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe. Gasoline and diesel prices have also skyrocketed in several countries, including India and South Africa.
As of September 2021, Hong Kong had the world’s most expensive gasoline at $ 2.56 per liter ($ 11.63 per gallon), followed by the Netherlands – $ 2.18 ($ 9.91 per gallon) and from the Central African Republic – $ 2.14 ($ 9.72 per gallon). The high taxes are a major contributor to the high cost at the pump.
Countries with the cheapest gasoline mainly include oil-rich countries including Venezuela at $ 0.02 ($ 0.09 per gallon), Iran – $ 0.06 ($ 0.27 per gallon) and Syria – $ 0.23 ($ 1.04 per gallon) according to globalpetrolprices.com.
How crude oil becomes gasoline
Gasoline, diesel, and various other fuels are made from crude oil – a yellowish-black fossil fuel that is pumped out of the ground. Many household products, including plastics, detergents and clothing, are also derived from this non-renewable resource.
Rising crude prices have a ripple effect on several industries, from transportation to manufacturing.
Crude oil is classified according to its thickness (heavy, intermediate and light) and sulfur content (mild – low sulfur, acid – high sulfur). Light, sweet crude oil is of the highest quality. It is easier and cheaper to refine, making it the most sought after.
Brent and WTI are the world benchmarks for light sweet crude oil. Brent is extracted from the North Sea between the United Kingdom and Norway, while WTI (West Texas Intermediate) comes from American oil fields.
After the oil has been extracted and transported to various petroleum refineries, it must be heated in a furnace and then distilled into various fuels and products. Lighter products, especially liquefied petroleum gases, require lower extraction temperatures, while heavier products, especially asphalt, are extracted at much higher temperatures.
How the price of gasoline has changed (2001-2021)
The price of gasoline at the pump depends on a variety of factors, including the price of crude oil, transportation costs, state taxes, and distribution costs.
In 2001, Brent crude was trading at around $ 25 a barrel. One barrel equals 42 gallons or approximately 159 liters.
At its peak in 2008, Brent cost around $ 140 a barrel before collapsing to $ 45 after the global financial crisis, which destroyed demand for energy.
In April 2020, the price of oil fell to record highs again as the COVID pandemic swept the world, causing lockdowns nationwide and very weak demand.
By September 2021, increased demand associated with supply shortages pushed crude prices to an almost three-year high, at around $ 80 per barrel. Goldman Sachs analysts expect Brent crude to hit $ 90 a barrel by the end of the year.
OPEC members’ oil reserves
OPEC – the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is at the heart of global oil production. Founded in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1960, this multinational organization comprises 13 nations that collectively own about 80 percent of the world’s proven reserves of crude oil.
OPEC member countries produce around 40 percent of the world’s crude oil and account for some 60 percent of total oil traded internationally, according to United States Energy Information Administration.
OPEC sees demand for oil return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022 and expects production to increase by 1.7 million barrels per day in 2023.
Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world with 303,806 million barrels, followed by Saudi Arabia with 258,600 million and Iran with 208,600 million according to OPEC 2020 annual statistical bulletin.
Which countries have the most oil?
Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Iran have half of the 1.550 billion barrels of proven oil reserves in the world. The largest reserves among non-OPEC countries include Russia (80,000 million barrels) and the United States (52,637 million barrels).
In 2019, the world consumed 99.7 million barrels of oil per day (mbpd) according to the International Energy Agency. The United States alone consumes about one-fifth (20.48 mbpd) of the world’s daily oil consumption, followed by China (13.07 mbpd) and India (4.84 mbpd).
According to OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo, oil will retain its number one position in the global energy mix, supplying 28% of global energy needs by 2045.