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Downturn in US fuel consumption under way

A secular downturn in US fuel consumption is under way as Americans fall out of love with their cars

Like a hum in the background of the global economy, the oil age has been in quiet withdrawal for the past 10 years. The shift began in 2002, when, after two stable decades, oil's share of the world's energy mix began to decline from 38% to its position now at around 33% (see Figure 1). In its place have been the advance of natural gas and the powerful ascent of coal. Meanwhile, the oil industry foundered, letting slip its claim as the top provider of energy to world industry. Despite a near doubling of world oil and gas investment, and a quadrupling of the oil price, the industry has eked out just a 2-3% increase in world supply. Crude-oil production globally is now running at 75.5 million

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