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Saudi Arabia Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions

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Trends

Saudi Arabia ranks 14th among nations based on 2008 fossil-fuel CO2 emissions with 118 million metric tons of carbon. Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil producer. Even though Saudi Arabia is the world's largest exporter of oil, not surprisingly consumption of petroleum products represents the bulk of the countries' fossil-fuel CO2 emissions (64.2% in 2008). Use of natural gas has become increasingly important since the mid 1980s and now accounts for 32.1% of total fossil-fuel CO2 emissions. A striking feature of the time series for Saudi Arabia is the emissions resulting from flaring gas in the oil fields. In 1974, gas flaring accounted for 76% of Saudi Arabia's fossil-fuel emissions. As new technologies were incorporated into the oil fields and it became possible to refine or reinject these gases, CO2 emissions from gas flaring fell sharply and more recently account for less than 1% of total emissions. Per capita emissions have grown ten-fold since 1950; at 4.69 metric tons of carbon per person, they are well above the global average.

Energy statistics for Saudi Arabia in the early 1950s and the corresponding CO2 emission estimates should be used with caution. Domestic fuel consumption is calculated as consumption = production + imports - exports - bunkers - changes in stocks. When both production and exports are very large and very similar, as is the case for Saudi Arabia, a small error in either estimate can make it appear that domestic consumption was negative.


CITE AS: Boden, T.A., G. Marland, and R.J. Andres. 2011. Global, Regional, and National Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A. doi 10.3334/CDIAC/00001_V2011