In the year 2001, the European Union (EU) imported some €90 billion ($80.05 billion) of crude oil from outside the union. Just over €40 billion came from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which include Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Venezuela.
The share of OPEC in extra-EU imports of crude oil has fallen steadily over recent years, from 55 percent in 1995 to 50 percent in 1999 and 45 percent in 2001. Including intra-EU trade in crude oil, OPEC was responsible for 38 percent of EU member states' total imports of crude oil in 2001, according to figures published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities in Luxembourg.
While the annual volume of extra-EU oil imports has remained relatively stable since 1995, the value has varied greatly, reflecting changes in the price of crude oil. However, the breakdown of crude oil imports by member state or by supplier is similar whether expressed in value or volume terms.
The most important extra-EU supplier of crude oil to the EU in 2001 was Norway, with 21 percent of the total, worth €19 billion. Russia was next with 17 percent, or €15 billion, followed by five members of OPEC: Saudi Arabia with 11 percent, Libya with 10 percent, Iran and Nigeria with six percent each and Algeria with five percent.
Considering both intra-EU and extra-EU trade, it is interesting to note that, among the €16.8 billion exported by the UK, €11.6 billion are imported by other EU member states, making it the third most important supplier of crude oil to the EU market in 2001.
All EU member states had an overall deficit in trade in crude oil—both intra-EU and extra-EU—in 2001, except for the UK, which registered a nine billion euro surplus, and Denmark with a €1.6 billion surplus. The largest importers of crude oil were Germany, France and Italy, which together accounted for about half of total EU imports of crude oil. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )