10 Huge Countries Without Their Own Oil

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5. South Korea
> GDP rank: 13th largest
> 2014 GDP (est.): $1.45 trillion
> Proved oil reserves: none
> Oil consumption (2013): 2.46 million barrels a day
> Percentage of global total daily consumption: 2.6%

Earlier this month, South Korea’s government cut its economic growth forecast for 2014 from 3.7% to 3.4% and lowered its forecast for 2015 growth from 4.0% to 3.8%. For a country that must import every gallon of oil it consumes, falling crude oil prices are a significant benefit. At $90 a barrel, importing 2.5 million barrels a day costs the country about $82 billion a year; at $65 the total drops to around $59 billion. The country’s oil consumption has risen 6.2% since 2009. South Korea generates 75% of its electricity from fossil fuels.

4. Italy
> GDP rank: eighth largest
> 2014 GDP (est.): $2.13 trillion
> Proved oil reserves: 560 million barrels
> Oil consumption (2013): 1.308 million barrels a day
> Percentage of global total daily consumption: 1.5%

Italy’s economy is in recession for the third time since 2008, after third-quarter GDP fell 0.5%, marking the 13th consecutive quarter that GDP has failed to rise. The country’s debt rating was just lowered to one notch above junk at S&P, but the ratings agency thinks the country will see a modest recovery next year. The country consumed about 15% less oil in 2013 than in 2009. Italy generates 65% of its electricity from fossil fuels and 16% from renewables, with hydroelectric generation accounting for the rest.

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3. France
> GDP rank: fifth largest
> 2014 GDP (est.): $2.9 trillion
> Proved oil reserves: 90 million barrels
> Oil consumption (2013): 1.683 million barrels a day
> Percentage of global total daily consumption: 1.9%

The French economy is expected to grow just 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2014, and even with help from low oil prices and a weak euro, real GDP growth for 2014 is forecast at 0.4%. The forecast for the first half of 2015 is just 0.3%. France may benefit less from low oil prices because so much of its energy is via nuclear generation, which lowers demand for heating oil. About 80% of the country’s economy is service-oriented, so demand for fuel to move goods around is limited. Since 2009, France has reduced consumption by 5.4%. Just 22% of the country’s electricity is generated from fossil fuels, while nearly 51% comes from nuclear power plants.

2. Germany
> GDP rank: fourth largest
> 2014 GDP (est.): $3.82 trillion
> Proved oil reserves: 232 million barrels
> Oil consumption (2013): 2.382 million barrels a day
> Percentage of global total daily consumption: 2.7%

Germany, like nearly every other Western European nation, has been teetering on the edge of another recession. This may be avoided in part because crude oil prices have dropped and the stronger dollar has made the country’s manufactured goods more appealing. Economic growth in the country has been forecast to rise 1% in 2015, better than this year’s expected growth, but still slow by historical standards. German crude oil consumption has dropped by about 1.3% since 2009. Slightly more than half of German electricity generation is produced from fossil fuels and a whopping 36% comes from renewable sources.

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1. Japan
> GDP rank: third largest
> 2014 GDP (est.): $4.77 trillion
> Proved oil reserves: 44 million barrels
> Oil consumption (2013): 4.551 million barrels a day
> Percentage of global total daily consumption: 5.0%

Japan ranks only behind the United States and China in both GDP and daily consumption of oil, but its proved reserves are essentially zero, compared with U.S. reserves of nearly 31 billion barrels and Chinese reserves of about 24.5 billion barrels. The amount of oil Japan consumes has dropped by about 150,000 barrels a day, compared with 2012 when the country burned more oil to generate electricity following the nuclear disaster in 2011. The country consumed about 3.9% more oil in 2013 than in 2009. Virtually every barrel is imported. In 2012 oil generated 47% of the country’s electricity, a large amount but down from 80% in the 1970s. Coal and natural gas account for another 47% of generation. Nuclear generation has dropped from 26% to around 1% since 2011.