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2019 OPEC World Oil Outlook 2040: growing appetite for energy, increasing GHG emissions

The 2019 edition of the annual World Oil Outlook (WOO-2019) published by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) looks at trends in the global economy and energy developments with a particular emphasis on oil supply and demand. This concerns upstream and downstream sectors, latest technology advances, policy and environment developments. Various indicators analysed in the report (GDP growth, the global population, energy demand, industry investment etc.) provide the basis for energy market projections up to 2040.

The clear finding of the WOO-2019 is the fact that “the world will need a great deal more energy in the decades to come”. In general, the changes in the global energy landscape are mainly driven by developing regions. India and China are crucial threads that run across all chapters of the report as energy market key influencers.

The most important findings of the WOO-2019 are:

-   In 2040 the world’s population is expected to reach 9.2 billion and global GDP growth between 2018 and 2040 is projected to average 3.3% p.a. Both growth indicators are projected to be mainly driven by developing countries.

-   It is assumed that between 2018 and 2040 total primary energy demand will increase by 25%. In terms of growth renewable are ahead, but oil and gas are projected to cover more than 50% of global energy needs by the end of the forecast period. Expressed in figures, world’s demand for energy is forecast to increase from nearly 286 million barrels of oil equivalent a day (mboe/d) in 2018 to about 357 mboe/d in 2040, with average growth of about 1% p.a.

-   In comparison to last year’s edition, global oil demand has reduced slightly to 110.6 mb/d by 2040. If we look at the regional aspects, oil demand is going to decline in OECD countries, whereas in nonOECD countries it is expected to expand. India is forecast to be the country with the fastest oil demand growth.

-   In the forecast global gas demand is projected to rise from 65.5 mboe/d to about 90 mboe/d. Therefore, natural gas will become the second largest energy source after oil, reaching a share of 25% in the total primary energy mix in 2040. Demand increases for gas will come primarily from Asia, led by China and India.

-   According to the report, after 2030 demand for coal is expected to decline. However, coal will remain the largest source of global CO2. It will supposedly account for about 40% of total energyrelated emissions in 2040. In general, by 2040 energy-related emissions will continue to grow to about 38 bt by 2040, which is more than 4 bt higher than in 2018.

-   If we look at the energy growth figures according to the demand sectors, the petrochemical sector is leading in terms of incremental demand. However, in terms of absolute volumes, road transportation will remain the largest demand sector. The aviation sector is forecast to be the fastest growing sector, but also marine and railway sectors will experience some growth.

-   By 2040, US tight oil production is seen at 14.5 mb/d. In other regions of the world tight oil production also has potential, but in comparison to the USA its volumes are expected to remain modest.

-   Between 2018 and 2040 the global vehicle fleet is expected to increase by more than 1 billion, reaching 2.4 billion. Electric vehicles are forecast to reach approximately 320 million units in 2040, which is about 13% of the global fleet, and 305 million of all vehicles will be passenger cars (about 15% of all passenger cars).