BP Outlook 2035: Energy demand growth to slow despite emerging economies

Offshore staff

HOUSTON – The Outlook says global energy consumption is expected to rise 41% from 2012 to 2035, compared to 55% over the last 23 years (52% over the last 20) and 30% over the last 10. The report says 95% of that growth will come from emerging economies such as China and India, while energy use in the advanced economies of North America, Europe, and Asia as a group is expected to grow slowly – and to begin to decline in the later years of the forecast.

Shares of market for the major fossil fuels are converging, with oil, natural gas, and coal each expected to make up around 27% of the total mix by 2035. The remaining shares will be from nuclear, hydroelectricity, and renewables. Among fossil fuels, gas is growing most rapidly as a cleaner alternative to coal.

BP says it there is enough energy to meet growing demand, as the growth rate for global demand is slower than in previous decades as a result of increasing energy efficiency. Trends in global technology, investment, and policy leave BP confident that production will keep pace. The company says new energy forms such as shale gas, tight oil, and renewables will account for a significant share of the growth in global supply.

On the question of security, the Outlook says that, among today’s energy importers, the US is on a path to achieve energy self-sufficiency, while import dependence in Europe, China, and India will increase. Asia is expected to become the dominant energy importing region.

Regarding sustainability, global carbon dioxide emissions are projected to rise by 29%, with all of the growth coming from the emerging economies. The Outlook notes that emissions growth is expected to slow as natural gas and renewables gain market share from coal and oil; and emissions are expected to decline in Europe and the US.

BP Chief Economist Christof Rühl commented, “This process shows the power of economic forces and competition. Put simply, people are finding ways to use energy more efficiently because it saves them money. This is also good for the environment – the less energy we use, the less carbon we emit. For example, carbon dioxide emissions in the US are back at 1990s’ levels.”

Oil is expected to be the slowest growing of the major fuels to 2035, with demand growing at an average of 0.8% a year. Nonetheless, this results in demand for oil and other liquid fuels being nearly 19 MMboe/d higher in 2035 than 2012. All the net demand growth is expected to come from outside the OECD – demand growth from China, India, and the Middle East together will account for almost all of net demand growth.

Growth in the supply of oil and other liquids (including biofuels) to 2035 is expected to come mainly from the Americas and the Middle East. More than half of the growth will come from non-OPEC sources, with rising production from US tight oil, Canadian oil sands, Brazilian deepwater, and biofuels more than offsetting mature declines elsewhere. Increasing production from new tight oil resources is expected to result in the US overtaking Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer of liquids in 2014. US oil imports are expected to fall nearly 75% between 2012 and 2035.

OPEC’s share of the oil market is expected to fall early in the period, reflecting growing non-OPEC production together with slowing demand growth. OPEC market share is expected to rebound somewhat after 2020.

Natural gas demand is expected to grow the fastest of the fossil fuels – rising an average of 1.9% a year. Non-OECD countries are expected to generate 78% of demand growth. Industry and power generation account for the largest increments by sector. LNG exports are expected to grow more than twice as fast as gas consumption -- at an average of 3.9% per year – and account for 26% of the growth in global gas supply to 2035.

The report states that shale gas supplies should meet 46% of the growth in gas demand and account for 21% of world gas and 68% of US gas production by 2035. North American shale gas production growth is expected to slow after 2020 and production from other regions to increase, but, in 2035, North America is still expected to account for 71% of the world’s shale gas production.

01/16/2014

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