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Country insight – US

The US energy system in 2021

US oil consumption grew 1.5 Mb/d in 2021, the most of any country, still 4% below 2019 levels, while refining capacity was 1 Mb/d lower than 2019. Emissions bounced back as well in 2021 but remain 6% below 2019 levels at 5.2 GtCO2e

Fast facts

1    The US remained the world’s largest oil and gas producer, accounting for almost 20% and almost 23% of the world’s output of those fuels, respectively‎


2    LNG exports increased by more than 50% and accounted for almost 20% of global LNG trade


3    Renewables’ share (excluding hydro) in the power mix increased to 14% last year as solar and wind generation increased by 25% and 12%, respectively


Increase in US primary energy consumption‎


Share of global LNG exports


Decrease in refining capacity


Decrease in natural gas flaring

At a glance

  • Primary energy consumption increased by 5.3%. The largest absolute increase was in oil at 2.8 EJ. Despite the increase in energy use, natural gas consumption stayed roughly flat.
  • Energy consumption per capita increased from 2020 but fell over 3% since 2019. The rate of decline over the past decade has been around half the rate of decline seen during the previous decade to 2011.
  • Renewables (including hydro) accounted for 11% of primary energy consumption.
  • Electricity generation bounced back to levels of 2019, but the fossil fuel share declined 2pp to 61%.
  • Gas’s share of the power mix fell to below 40%, while coal’s share increased 3 percentage points to 22%, the second largest increase in coal-fired generation globally.
  • Oil production rebounded only slightly in 2021, still 3% below 2019 levels, as producers retained capital discipline.
  • US refining capacity has fallen by 1 Mb/d since 2019, with most of the closures taking place in 2020.
  • Production of natural gas increased by 2% to over 90 Bcf/d (934 Bcm) as the US remains the world’s largest producer.
  • Despite the increase in gas production, gas flaring fell sharply by 22% to around 1 Bcf/d (9.7 Bcm).
  • Renewable energy generation grew by 77 TWh in 2021, three times as much as in Europe, but less than a third of the growth seen in China.
  • Net LNG exports increased to 9.1 Bcf/d (94 Bcm) in 2021, 50% higher than 2020. US LNG exports now account for 18.4% of global LNG trade, up from 1% just five years ago.
  • Net CO2e emissions from energy, methane, flaring, and industrial processes rose by 6.1% to 5.2 billion tonnes in 2021 but remain 6% lower than 2019 levels.