Following the beginning of offshore oil extraction in the North Sea in 1975 and with rapidly increasing extraction figures, it is not surprising that proved oil reserves in the UK have been declining. Between the end of 1995 and the end of 2017, they had dropped by 2.2 billion barrels. Similarly, the capacities of oil refineries have been shrinking, amounting to a daily level of 1.2 million barrels in 2017.
Daily oil consumption has also been rising again, growing from 1.52 million barrels in 2013 and 2014 to 1.59 million barrels in 2017. A peak in oil consumption had occurred in 2005 at 1.83 million barrels. Of primary energy, oil still had the largest consumption figures, edging ahead of natural gas consumption by roughly 9 million metric tons of oil equivalent in 2017.
Households had spent an average of 20.7 British pounds per week on petrol, diesel and other motor oils in 2017. The largest spending age group were 50 to 64 year-olds at an average of 25.8 British pounds. Of gross income decile groups, those in the highest ten percent were also the largest spenders with a weekly expenditure of 36.5 British pounds that same year.
In terms of trade of crude oils, in all quarters between 2014 and the first quarter of 2018 the trade balance has been negative, with the largest deficit recorded in the third quarter of 2014 when the difference between oil exports and imports was 3.8 billion British pounds. In the first quarter of 2018, the trade balance amounted to a negative of 2.4 billion British pounds. This amounted to roughly 0.22 million tonnes in crude oil.
As of 2017, there were 40 enterprises in the crude petroleum and natural gas extraction industry with an annual turnover exceeding 5 million British pounds, a decrease of 10 enterprises compared to four years previous. A breakdown by employment size showed that 20 enterprises in this industry had employed more than 250 people that year.