Exploring Hydrocarbon Depletion
Page added on March 19, 2017
The United States could become energy self-sufficient in as few as six years, predicts multinational oil and gas company BP.
Also by 2023, natural gas will replace oil as the most-used fuel in U.S. energy consumption. Global coal consumption will peak in the mid-2020s as China reins in its economic growth and uses cleaner, lower-carbon fuels.
Domestically, gas will overtake coal as the dominant fuel used in making electricity by 2020. By 2035, the United States will burn less fossil fuel and the amount of coal used will be nearly cut in half — from 17 percent in 2015 to 9 percent in 2035.
Those are just a few of the predictions in the 2017 edition of the BP Energy Outlook.
“Nobody has a crystal ball about the future, and we don’t pretend we do either,” said Mark Finley, general manager of global energy markets and U.S. economics with BP America Inc. “When we prepare the Outlook, it’s not to say, ‘Here, this is how the world’s going to be and we know better than you.’”
Finley will share the results of the 2017 edition of the BP Energy Outlook when he presents the company’s views on global energy markets at 1 p.m. March 27 at the Engineering Sciences Building on the Evansdale campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. The talk is the annual Glen H. Hiner Distinguished Lecture.
But Finley also wants, he said, to find out how energy, coal and natural gas issues look from West Virginians’ perspectives.
“That highlights the main purpose of our energy outlook. It is a basis for conversation,” Finley said.
The Outlook is a 20-year analysis based on the Statistical Review of World Energy, which BP has published for 65 years. Finley leads the annual production of that market assessment.
“It is widely seen around the world as an objective resource for every major country of the whole world for all forms of energy,” Finley said.
The Statistical Review is the single-most downloaded document on BP’s website, he said.
The Outlook sets out some scenarios examining what may happen if certain situations occur. For example, what if the pace of development of electric vehicles is different from what forecasters assumed? What are other issues around shaping policy and technology that will impact competition between coal and natural gas in energy production?
Finley will emphasize that global markets are connected. “What happens in China matters to the people of West Virginia, as well as what happens in the Marcellus Shale natural gas fields and in policy decisions in Washington, D.C.,” he said.
“It’s really important to think about the global perspective,” Finley added. “All of these markets are connected. The U.S. trades oil, gas and coal internationally. I can’t hope to speak to local issues as well as the people who live there. I think, to me, part of the (Outlook’s) value is helping the people understand how things that happen abroad impact them in their everyday lives. It’s one of most rewarding parts to me.
“It isn’t just about energy. It’s about jobs, as people in West Virginia probably know better than most, but it is also about environmental issues and national security.”
The Glen H. Hiner Distinguished Lecture Series is named in honor of the alumnus and business leader who, in 2005, established an endowment to support the deanship of the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University. A Morgantown native, Glen H. Hiner graduated from the Department of Electrical Engineering in 1957. He then embarked on a successful and innovative 35-year career with General Electric Co. In 1992, he became chief executive officer of Owens Corning, where he introduced new products, built new manufacturing facilities around the world and oversaw many major initiatives