* U.S. oil growth outpaces China for first time since 1999
* Shale boom boosts U.S. production for second year in a row
* BP raises oil, gas reserves in its annual statistics
By Ron Bousso
LONDON, June 16 Oil demand in the United States
grew at the fastest pace in the world in 2013, outstripping
China for the first time since 1999 as the world's top economy
reaped the benefit of the shale boom, oil major BP said on
BP also said the United States recorded its
largest-ever annual rise in production for a second year in a
row at 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd).
In its annual review of energy statistics, first published
in 1951 and considered an industry benchmark, BP said U.S. oil
consumption in 2013 grew by 400,000 bpd, the sharpest increase
in the world, followed by China's rise of 390,000 bpd, BP said.
The consumption growth was led by an expansion of the U.S.
industrial sector as the world's top economy emerged from the
2008 financial crisis, BP Chief Economist Christof Ruhl said.
At the same time, a Chinese slowdown was driven mainly by
lower consumption of diesel and gasoil, which traditionally
reflect the rate of economic growth.
"It is easy to understand the U.S. - If you have a lot of
cheap domestic oil that feeds into the industry, it will show up
eventually in GDP growth numbers. It's not that easy to
reconcile the slowdown in Chinese energy numbers," Ruhl said.
China's economic growth hit a 14-year low in 2013, a decline
that accelerated in the first part of this year as Beijing leads
a wide drive to reform the country's economy.
Overall, China's energy consumption growth slowed to around
4.7 percent in 2013 from a 10-year average of 8.4 percent
despite the fact the Beijing officially reported a 7.7 percent
rise in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013, Ruhl said.
"There is a lot of tension between the official growth
numbers for China and the official energy numbers consumption
for China," he said.
Global oil production did not keep pace with the growth in
oil consumption, rising by 560,000 bpd or 0.6 percent, as output
disruptions from Libya, Nigeria and Iraq due to political strife
were almost entirely offset by a 1.1 million bpd growth in U.S.
output, BP said.
"The huge investments seen in the U.S. have been encouraged
and enabled by a favourable policy regime. And this has resulted
in the U.S. delivering the world's largest increase in oil
production last year. Indeed, the U.S. increase... was one of
the biggest annual oil production increases the world has ever
seen," Ruhl said.
This balance also explains oil price stability over the past
three years, with the lowest volatility since the early 1970s,
BP increased its global proved natural gas reserves at the
end of 2013 to 185.7 trillion cubic metres (tcm), enough to meet
54.8 years of global production, up from a revised 2012 figure
of 185.3 tcm.
The oil major also increased its global oil reserves
estimates to 1,687.9 billion barrels at the end of 2013, enough
to meet 53.3 years of current global production.
(Reporting by Ron Bousso, editing by David Evans)