What Do We Use Oil And Gas For? (& Sectors & Countries That Use The Most)

In this guide we look at what we use oil and gas for in society.

We also outline the sectors and countries that use the most oil and gas.


Summary – What We Use Oil & Gas For

The United States is a big consumer of total gas and oil (it can be a different story when you look at it on a per capita level).

In terms of natural gas – industry, commercial and residential, and electricity generation are all big users.

In terms of petroleum/oil, transportation and industrial are big users.

Putting oil and gas together on a worldwide scale, some estimates put transportation at 45%, and heating and energy at 42% of oil and gas use.

It’s estimated that we use fossil fuels like natural gas, oil and coal in 96% of the things we use everyday.

The production of plastics (just as one example) begins with the distillation of crude oil in an oil refinery.

Natural gas is an interesting energy source as it appears that some major countries are transitioning to natural gas from coal, with one of the main reasons being the emissions from black coal.


Sectors Of Society That Use The Most Oil & Gas


The annual use of oil and gas worldwide by sector/area of society is:

Transportation – 45%

Heating & Energy – 42%

Other – 5%

Chemicals – 4%

Plastic – Plastics 4%

– theconversation.com


United States

Just over one-quarter (27%) of [the United States’ primary energy in 2013] came from natural gas.

This energy is used across all of the sectors – transportation (3% of total natural gas consumption), industry (34%), residential and commercial buildings (32%), and electric power (31%).

– blogs.scientificamerican.com


In 2017, petroleum consumption by sector and share of total consumption was:

Transportation—14.02 million barrels per day (b/d)—71%

Industrial—4.76 million b/d—24%

Residential—0.52 million b/d—3%

Commercial—0.47 million b/d—2%

Electric power—0.10 million b/d—1%


Countries That Use The Most Oil & Gas

In 2015, the countries that consumed the most petroleum were:

United States—20.5%





– eia.gov


You can view the countries that consume the most natural gas at http://world.bymap.org/NaturalGasConsumption.html 

The top consuming countries (in total cubic metres consumed) are:

United States






Saudi Arabia

– world.bymap.org


How Much Oil & Gas We Have Left On Earth

In these guides, we look at how much oil and how much natural gas we have left on Earth



1. https://theconversation.com/the-world-of-plastics-in-numbers-100291 

2. https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.php?page=oil_use

3. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/what-sectors-use-the-most-natural-gas/

4. http://world.bymap.org/NaturalGasConsumption.html

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