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Wood Mackenzie energy view to 2030

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

A Wood Mackenzie industry forecast suggests that global energy demand continues to gain momentum, driven by China and other emerging markets, but the pace of growth is uncertain in the long term.

Wood Mackenzie suggests that while China’s double digit growth rates of the last decade have slowed, its vast size and ongoing development ensure that it will retain its position as the world’s largest energy consumer.

Analysis conducted by the firm reveals that between 2014 – 2030, energy demand growth within Asia-Pacific will outpace that of North America by five times. Europe will become increasingly reliant on imports as India and China cement their positions as leading destinations for exporters of coal, oil and gas.

However, this era of increasing demand is also one of robust energy supply. Wood Mackenzie highlights that the world’s increasing energy needs will, in part, be met by emergence of North America as a net energy exporter before the 2020s, helping to reshape commodity trading patterns across the world.

By 2020, Wood Mackenzie predicts that growth of North American oil production will outpace the Middle East by 4 bbls: 1 bbl, and that North American output will have grown by 390 million t of oil equivalent by 2030.

Wood Mackenzie compared their view with those of the International Energy Agency (IEA), BP, ExxonMobil, EIA and OPEC. Traditional hydrocarbons will dominate the global supply mix, but Wood Mackenzie sees ‘king coal’ in 2030, while other outlooks expect oil to retain the largest share of global energy demand.

Wood Mackenzie holds that as a result of growing supply, there will be strong upside signals for oil, gas and coal prices. Investors are also wary, and shareholder pressure on companies to increase returns is pushing down spend.

This shift in focus from volume to value will lead a supply outlook more appropriate to a world in which demand growth, while still remarkable in the context of history, is softer than was expected a few years ago.

However, despite cost pressures, the expansion of developing markets, the impact of new techniques and technology on supply and the increasing interconnectivity of global energy trade provides a spread of opportunities for growth in the long term.

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

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