World Energy Trade

The main producers of the three fossil fuels, the main trade routes and problems that may occur.

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  • Created by: BluePanda
  • Created on: 20-05-12 10:01


Gas is the least polluting of the fossil fuels, emitting 40% less sulphur dioxide than coal, and a smaller amount of CO2/Nitrous gases.

The three main producers of Gas are:

  • USA
  • Russia
  • Iran

Biggest trade routes:

  • Indonesia to China and India (NICs)
  • Russia to the rest of Europe

Problems encountered with transportation:

  • Gas occupies a volume 600 x greater than oil, so must be converted to LNG (liquefied natural gas) before transported
  • It is highly flammable and sought after so must be pumped underground
  • International conflict may lead to wealthy companies raising prices (e.g. Gazprom, Russia)
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Oil is the most sought after of the fossil fuels, as it has many uses, such as petrol, diesel, heating, plastics for healthcare and construction.

The three main producers of Oil are:

  • Saudi Arabia (25% of the worlds oil)
  • USA (especially Prudhoe Bay)
  • Russia

Biggest trade routes:

  • Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to Valdez and then the USA via the TAP.
  • Saudi Arabia to Europe, esp. UK, Australia, China and America

Problems with transport:

  • Very sought after - cases of pirate attacks off coast of Somalia
  • Oil spills and leaks in pipes have damaged wildlife

OPEC is the Organisation for Petroleum Exporting Countries.12 countries. Controls 1/3 of the worlds oil production. Keeps prices high for max. profit.

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Coal is the cheapest of the fossil fuels, but the dirtiest, having a high sulphur content. Highly sought after by NICs like China. Coal was the main fuel in the Industrial Revolution

Main 3 producers of Coal: -together they produce 60% of the worlds coal

  • China
  • USA
  • India       

Biggest transport routes:

  • USA and Australia to China

Problems encountered:

  • Many coalfields aren't economically viable any more due to exhaustion of shallow seams
  • It is therefore widely imported by bulk carrier ships, resulting in more greenhouse gases being released from transportation.

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The Production of World Energy

Countries producing most energy: Qatar and Norway

Countries producing lots of energy:

Mostly MEDCs, in the Northern Hemisphere

  • UK
  • USA and Canada
  • Russia
  • Australia

Anomalies: South Africa, Saudi Arabia


  • Money to exploit resources and develop necessary technology
  • Availability of Natural, Primary Resources
  • Reliance on production of fuel in economy
  • Enough healthy labourers to maintain production
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The Consumption of World Energy

Countries consuming the most energy: Qatar, Canada, Norway

Countries consuming lots of energy:

Mostly MEDCs, in Northern Hemisphere:

  • USA
  • Australia
  • UK and Western Europe
  • Russia

Anomalies: South Africa, Saudi Arabia


  • Reliance on fuels for living, transport etc
  • Disposable income
  • Enough money to import
  • Demand
  • Industrialisation
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