By Sebastine Obasi & Prince Okafor
EXXONMOBIL Corporation, an international oil and gas company, has forecast that oil and natural gas will form 60 percent of global energy supplies in 2040, while nuclear energy and renewables will grow about 50 percent and be approaching a 25 percent share of the world’s energy mix.
This came as International Energy Agency (IEA) has projected a continued global demand for oil to pick up as recent measures to rebalance the market, but with a period of sluggishness still expected to hang over producers in the year ahead,
In its 2017 Outlook for Energy, ExxonMobil said that the world will need to pursue all economic energy sources to keep up with a considerable demand growth forecast.
According to the forecast, oil will remain an essential energy source for transportation and chemical production.
“Natural gas, increasingly used for power generation as utilities look to switch to lower-emissions fuels, will expand its share of the energy mix. Gas will overtake coal as the world’s second-largest fuel in about a decade,” the company noted.
The company also said that, by 2040, world population is expected to reach 9.1 billion, up from 7.3 billion today. Over that same period, global GDP will effectively double, with non-member countries of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) seeing particularly high levels of economic growth. This means rising living standards in essentially every corner of the world, and billions of people joining the global middle class.
Global middle class
It explained that this economic expansion, coupled with growing numbers of people, will help drive up global energy demand by about 25 percent by the year 2040, similar to adding another North America and Latin America to the world’s current energy demand.
Meanwhile, the IEA revised its growth estimates for global oil demand upwards for the third consecutive month in 2016 to 1.6 million barrels a day (mb/d) after seeing what it considered strong numbers in the last three months of 2016. However, it remains cautious about the outlook for 2017, forecasting a near-term deceleration to 1.4 mb/d.
“Stronger than expected growth in Europe, partly influenced by colder weather in (the fourth-quarter of 2016), is a key factor alongside the long-term growth in China, India and non-OECD countries,” the IEA report said.