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09 05 2015 | by Victor Xing | Economics

How large is the energy economy in terms of world GDP?

According to World Bank data, energy, or total crude oil and natural gas’ share of global GDP was at 3.53% as of 2013.  This does not factor into the growth of U.S. shale industry during 2014 and 2015, therefore the current figure would likely to be higher.

Even though 3.53% appears optically small, energy price volatility can have profound impacts on the global economy.  Weakness in oil producers can spread risk contagion to other parts of the global economy.  Even in the U.S., the decline in oil prices have severely impacted regional economies dependent on shale production.

Oil and natural gas data

Oil rents (% of GDP) (World Bank)
Oil rents (% of GDP) (World Bank – table view showing individual countries)

Energy (oil) as percent of world GDP
Oil rents as a percent of GDP 2011-2015

Natural gas rents (% of GDP) (World Bank)
Natural gas rents (% of GDP) (World Bank – table view showing individual countries)

As a spot check, Wikipedia (Economy of Russia) stated that “as of 2012 the oil-and-gas sector accounted for 16% of the [Russian] GDP,” which corroborates with World Bank data above.