Total consumption of oil products decreased slightly in 2017

Press release 12 February 2018

Around 7.4 million tonnes of oil products were sold domestically in 2017, compared to a total of 7.7 million tonnes for the previous year. Petrol consumption continued to decline last year, while consumption of diesel fuel continued its upward trend.

In addition to liquid fuels, the figures of the Finnish Petroleum and Biofuels Association include bitumen and lubricants as well as raw materials of the petrochemical industry. The statistics also include biofuels contained within transport fuels.

All transport fuels in Finland contain biocomponents, which contributes to reducing both carbon emissions and the consumption of fossil fuels. -Every person that fills up with petrol or diesel is also using biofuel, points out Managing Director of the Finnish Petroleum and Biofuels Association Helena Vänskä.

Petrol and diesel

Petrol sales in 2017 amounted to 1.9 billion litres. This total was just under 2% lower than that of the previous year. The consumption of petrol has been declining for a long time, as technical developments have reduced fuel consumption in cars.

Sales of diesel fuel grew by 2% in 2017, and total diesel consumption reached nearly 3.1 billion litres. The 3 billion mark was passed for the first time in 2016. The most significant area of consumption for diesel is transport for business and industry.

Fuel oils and aviation fuel

There was no significant change in sales of light fuel oil in 2017. Around 1.9 billion litres of light fuel oil was sold, amounting to 0.5% less than the previous year. Two thirds of the light fuel oil is consumed by machinery and equipment used in agriculture and forestry, in construction, and in industry. Only about a third is used for heating buildings. Consumption of oil for heating purposes decreases continually as energy efficiency improves when heating systems are upgraded and replaced. Renewable energy is also increasingly used alongside oil heating.

The use of heavy fuel oil has been decreasing for years. For example, it is no longer used in municipal heating plants. About 340,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil, which is mainly used in industry, were sold in 2017. This is 23% less than in the previous year.

Total sales of aviation fuel grew in 2017 by nearly 6% compared to the previous year, amounting to nearly 1 billion litres. Almost 90% of the aviation fuel sold is used for international flights.

Biofuels reduce carbon emissions from transport

Biofuels help towards attaining the carbon reduction goals set for transport. According to the national Act on the promotion of the use of biofuels for transport (446/2007), a distributor of transport fuels liable to pay tax must distribute biofuels for consumption (distribution obligation). The share of biofuels is calculated based on the total energy content of the petrol, diesel oil and biofuels delivered by the distributor for consumption.

The biofuel distribution obligation was set in 2011 to be increased in stages. For the period 2011–2014, the obligation was 6%, and in 2015 it was 8%. In 2016, the distribution obligation was 10% and in 2017 it was 12%. In 2018 the obligation is 15 %. In 2019, the distribution obligation will be 18% and in 2020 it will be 20%.

In practice, the annual share can also exceed the required level if a distributor wishes to contribute towards future requirements in advance. In addition, a double counting system will apply to biofuels until 2020: If the raw material used to manufacture a biofuel is waste, residue or non-food cellulosic or lignocellulosic biomass, it is counted twice in the distribution obligation.

The annual data is published at a later date by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. The 2015 Eurostat statistics indicated that for Finnish road traffic the share of biofuels in total consumption was 22%. The distribution obligation was only 8%, so distributors were contributing towards future requirements in advance. -Eurostat statistics for 2016 show that biofuels’ share of fuels distributed in Finland was 8.4%, while the obligation for that year was 10%. The distribution obligation was therefore fulfilled using the previous years’ “excess”, Vänskä reports.

Statistics online

Sales figures for oil products

Market share figures

Further information: Finnish Petroleum and Biofuels Association, Helena Vänskä, Managing Director, tel. +358 (0)40 581 6786


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