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Page added on February 26, 2012

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Exxon: Demand for oil and gas to grow ‘for decades’


THE world’s biggest oil company says the next 30 years are looking good for oil and gas suppliers and consumers, but perhaps not so good for miners.

Texas-based ExxonMobil says there is no sign of peak oil and energy efficiency is growing along with demand.

Exxon’s 2012 energy outlook — which the company is presenting in Australia this week — backs up the long-held industry view that gas and liquefied natural gas demand will grow steadily over coming decades.

But it also provides less than buoyant forecasts for the coal industry and warns readers not to get too excited about Chinese, Indian and African growth.

The report, which provides predictions to 2040, predicts coal demand will start to decline in 2030 and says clean coal technology is too expensive to take off.

These are both good things for a gas producer such as Exxon, because its product is likely to fill the gap if coal’s grip on global electricity production loosens.

A peak in the working-age population is forecast to slow growth in China, while India and Africa are not seen as having China-like booms.

“China’s population is expected to peak in 2030 at about 1.4 billion people. However, as a result of smaller family sizes, China’s working-age population is projected to peak much earlier, likely within the next 10 years,” Exxon strategic planning chief William Colton said after releasing the report.

“This trend will slow China’s growth and their energy demand,” he said.

Africa and India, despite strong expected production growth, were not expected to have a decades-long boom like China’s because they did not have the high levels of investment, he said.

Concerns about carbon, sulphur, nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions were expected to stymie coal use. “After 2030, we see global coal demand declining for the first time in modern history,” Mr Colton said.

Exxon has factored in a carbon price of $US60 a tonne and says those banking on clean coal through burying carbon dioxide are out of luck.

“The costs to do that are pretty high; most people would say it’s $US80 to $US100 per tonne of carbon dioxide,” Mr Colton said.

“We don’t see the world being willing to pay that much to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions, even by the year 2040.”

In a statement that could raise eyebrows, Exxon says carbon dioxide emissions will plateau from 2025, despite projections that the world will need 20 per cent more energy in 2025 and 30 per cent more (than current levels) in 2040.

New technology has boosted global oil resources, belying fears that oil will run out, it says.

“Before 1950, everyone thought there was 1 trillion barrels in the world. By 1980, that grew to 1.7 trillion . . . Now CERA (Cambridge Energy Resource Associates) has come out with their most recent outlook and they estimate there’s 5 trillion,” Mr Colton said.

The company is also predicting the average fuel efficiency of US cars will rise from 22 miles per gallon (11 litres per 100km) to 45 by 2040.

The Australian

3 Comments on "Exxon: Demand for oil and gas to grow ‘for decades’"

  1. DC on Sun, 26th Feb 2012 11:10 pm 

    Only two things to say here.

    Efficency is NOT growing, were just becomeing better at wasteing resources and energy, by diluting by the quality of the resource and doling it out to a every larger pool of ‘consumers’ at ever higher prices, useing substitutes of lower quality every step of the way. Of course, in corproate-speak, thats ‘efficent’ and profitable too. If were were serious about ‘efficeny’ we would useing human labor instead of FF powered trash-bins to drive 20 miles to get 10 pounds worth of food. So-called ‘efficent’ gas-burning trash bins will do little to alter the basic problem we face. Want to be truely efficent? WALK or bike to work or school, or to eat. Buying a 30,000 hybrid POS greenwash or someother ISNT EFFICENT, not matter how good the MPG is on the fraudulent sticker on the car-lot. Nor is spending 20% of your income to maintain it either!

    Secondly, demand is growing and will keep growing, because the population is growing yes, but more importantly, FF corporations and there allies have virtually eliminated ALL alternatives to their ‘products and services’. Put another way, when almost no alternatives exist to corporate systems, and all those systems are powered by toxic-fossil fuels, well DUH! no wonder they expect demaand to grow for decades! I DO TOO, though I hardly welcome it, or find the root cause for it anything to cheer about.

    No mattter how you look at it, the surplus energy and HQ resources available to us to build moon-bases, or fusion-stations, simply wont exist. They will all be spoken for and then some.

  2. Kenz300 on Mon, 27th Feb 2012 5:19 am 

    Demand for oil is growing but the supply is NOT growing fast enough. Wind fall profits for oil companies and oil producing countries. Just what the oil companies and oil producers want. They have the world backed into a corner with no alternatives for transportation fuels.

  3. BillT on Mon, 27th Feb 2012 1:00 pm 

    “…Now CERA (Cambridge Energy Resource Associates) has come out with their most recent outlook and they estimate there’s 5 trillion (barrels),…”

    And the ocean holds about $40,000,000,000,000.00 dollars worth of gold (in today’s value), but there it will stay for the same reason all of that oil will never be recovered. It would take too much energy to recover it.

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