Stephen Marcos Jones

UKPIA director-general Stephen Marcos Jones

Demand for oil products fell by 23.4% in 2020, according to the annual Statistical Review of the UK downstream industry, published today by UKPIA (United Kingdom Petroleum Industry Association).

The Statistical Review, which UKPIA has published since 2003, is a compendium of UK downstream industry statistics, containing information on the sector from government departments, UKPIA members, and a range of other sources.

Some of the headline statistics from this year’s review are:

  • in 2020, demand for oil products fell by 23.4%, while UK GDP as a whole fell by 9.8%;
  • HMRC receipts from road fuel taxation fell by 20.8% from £37.3bn in 2019 to £29.5bn in 2020;
  • more than 36,000 public EV charging connectors were available in the UK in 2020, an increase of 24% compared to 2019.

The Review also reported that Great Britain’s car parc shrank for the first time in the 21st century in 2020, down 192,000 to 31.7 million. The number of diesel-only cars decreased by 3% compared with a 0.7% decrease in the number of petrol-only cars. However, petrol- and diesel-only cars continue to dominate, making up 97% of the car parc.

As a result of the decrease in the vehicle parc being greater than the decrease in the number of forecourts (down five during 2020), the number of vehicles per forecourt decreased by 0.2% in 2020. This represents the first reduction in this ratio since the series began. In previous years, the decreasing forecourt trend was opposed by an increasing vehicle parc trend.

UKPIA director-general Stephen Marcos Jones commented: “We’ve continued to improve the UKPIA Statistical Review, and several new statistical analyses have been included in this year’s publication, most notably on greenhouse gas (GHG) savings from biofuels and the impact of Covid-19 on the sector.

“2020 was one of the most extraordinary years for the world, not least for the downstream industry. The Statistical Review clearly shows the impact of Covid-19 government interventions in restricting people’s mobility, resulting in a significant reduction of demand for downstream products.

“Even though it was such a challenging year, the sector continued to deliver in pursuit of Net-Zero, with a large increase in UK biofuel deliveries, growth of the UK’s EV charging infrastructure, and refinery emissions continued to decrease.”

For an electronic version of the 2021 edition of the Statistical Review, click here.