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BP: Demand for energy 'slowing'

Pressure gauges on gas pipes in Ukraine Image copyright Getty Images

The growth in global demand for energy slowed to levels not seen since the late 1990s, a new report suggests.

BP's Statistical Review of World Energy said global energy consumption "slowed sharply" to an increase of just 0.9% in 2014.

BP said slow growth for energy demand was largely due to China's economy moving away from "energy-intensive sectors".

Separately, it said increased US shale supply was a "continuing revolution".

'Tectonic plates'

The BP review also said the mixture of fuels which the world was using was changing.

BP's chief executive Bob Dudley said 2014 was characterised by "volatility and uncertainty" and "may well come to be viewed as symptomatic of a broader shifting in some of the tectonic plates that make up the energy landscape".

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Image caption The US maintained its position as the world's biggest supplier of oil.

The growth in Chinese coal consumption slowed to "unusually weak" levels, due to the slowing pace of industrialisation in the country.

Globally, production increased for all fuels except coal.

Meanwhile, worldwide demand for all other fuels increased the report said.

'Fuel mix'

Global growth in natural gas was weak, due to a mild European winter - which led to a sharp fall in the continent's gas consumption.

But renewable energy continued to see the fastest growth in demand, now fulfilling 3% of the world's energy needs, the report said.

Overall, carbon emissions from energy use grew by 0.5%.

The report also said that supply for oil continued to outstrip demand - global oil consumption grew by 0.8%, while oil production grew by 2.3%, with the US continuing to be the world's biggest oil producer.

BP said: "The big picture remains one of abundant reserves, with new sources of energy being discovered more quickly than they are consumed.

"Total proved reserves of oil and gas in 2014 were more than double their level in 1980."

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