Oil demand: how much can you save in a crisis?

Countries are encouraged to hold 90-days of emergency oil imports in inventory and have plans to reduce their oil use by 7-10% in emergency times. This has long been IEA guidance to reduce oil demand in a crisis.

Hence this data-file tabulates proposals from the IEA to quantify how these reductions (5-10Mbpd globally) could be achieved.

It is important to be realistic. Implementing all of these measures on a global basis would be extremely painful and could still only cut 10Mbpd of global oil demand at most. But a selective combination of measures would not be unsensible, and could realistically take the edge of the most extreme possible price spikes.

The largest measures are odd-even rationing (up to 6Mbpd), ride-sharing (up to 2Mbpd), free public transport (up to 2Mbpd) and slower driving mandates (up to 1.5Mbpd).

Further research. Our outlook on global oil demand during COVID pandemic is linked here. Our key points on oil demand in a crisis and how we could reduce the use of it are highlighted in our recent commentary, here.

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