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Global oil demand could peak by 2030


Oil and metals trading house Trafigura expects global oil demand to peak as early as 2030, hit potentially by a faster-than-expected take-up of electric vechiles as the shift to cleaner energy gains pace, its CEO Jeremy Weir said Tuesday.

The Swiss trader sees oil demand starting to “plateau out” with reduced growth rates from 2025, with a possible decline from “2030-2035,” Weir said.

“It may happen quicker than you think,” Weir told the FT Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne. “If you look at the transition in China into electric vehicles, there are somewhere in the region of 200 electric vehicle battery manufacturers in China,” he said.

Weir’s comments come a week after rival Vitol, the world’s largest independent oil trader, said it was looking to place further bets on low-carbon, renewable energy, but still expects global oil demand to continue to grow until the mid-2030s.

Vitol’s call on the timing of peak oil demand was in line with that of oil major BP, which last month said it expected global oil demand to “plateau” by 2035.

BP sees more of the world’s energy needs being met by renewable fuels in the coming years, a shift exacerbated by curbs on some plastics and the rise of EVs in the transport sector.

But like many of its oil industry peers, BP predicts oil will continue to be a vital part of the global energy mix well beyond 2040.

Indeed, Weir’s potentially bullish forecast for the impact of electric vehicles is at odds with the International Energy Agency’s latest long-term energy outlook. The IEA estimates that EVs will make up only 20% of car sales in 2040, when the expected 300 million electric cars on the road in will displace just 3.3 million b/d of oil demand growth.


Weir predicted “enormous” changes in the physical drivers of the global economy due to the shift to lower carbon energy, making changes in trade flows hard to plan and invest for.

“The switch to lower carbon emissions economics is likely to be disruptive,” Weir said. “The commodity transition will put considerable pressures on our trading systems, on the infrastructure we have to move commodities from where they are sourced to where are needed.”

“We don’t know much about how it will happen and we don’t yet know much about how changes in the climate itself will impact global trade,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, the CEO of oil and gas trader Gunvor was more conservative in his outlook for the future decline of global oil demand.

“I think that oil demand will grow for the foreseeable future, and if it peaks in the late 2030s, it’s probably not unreasonable to think so,” he told S&P Global Platts on the sidelines of the event.

Under the IEA’s central forecast scenario, world oil demand will rise from 94.8 million b/d in 2017 with no peak before 2040 when it will hit 106.3 million b/d.

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14 Comments on "Global oil demand could peak by 2030"

  1. twocats on Wed, 27th Mar 2019 7:56 am 

    how could it be “faster than expected” when people are “expecting” beyond-exponential growth in perpetuity?!

  2. Robert Inget on Wed, 27th Mar 2019 9:26 am 

    US/Russian/Chinese/Venezuelan Standoff:

    China has defended Russia’s recent deployment of troops to Venezuela amid U.S. statements suggesting Moscow and Beijing had no right to support a Latin American government disavowed by Washington.

    The U.S. has attempted to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro by supporting opposition-controlled National Assembly head Juan Guaidó, who declared himself acting president earlier this year in a political challenge to the country’s socialist leader. While Washington has secured support from a number of allies, Beijing and Moscow were among those backing Maduro. Over the weekend, Russian troops were seen disembarking military aircraft at Caracas’s international airport to attend what a diplomatic source as described as “bilateral consultations” to Russia’s state-run Sputnik News.

    White House national security adviser John Bolton tweeted Monday that the U.S. “will not tolerate hostile foreign military powers meddling” within the Western Hemisphere. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that Washington “will not stand idly by as Russia exacerbates tensions in Venezuela,” according to State Department.

    Asked about these developments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told a press briefing Tuesday that “countries in the Western Hemisphere, including Latin American countries, are all sovereign states,” so “they have the right to determine their own foreign policy and their way to engage in mutually beneficial cooperation with countries of their own choosing.”

    Damn good thing Trump is President. He would never say anything bad about Russia or China.

    I’m more than curious as to how much Venezuelan
    oil we imported last week. Remember Trump removed sanctions from N.Korea but put additional on Venezuela.

  3. Robert Inget on Wed, 27th Mar 2019 9:33 am 

    Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the week ending March 22, 2019

    U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 15.8 million barrels per day during the week
    ending March 22, 2019, which was 367,000 barrels per day less than the previous week’s
    average. Refineries operated at 86.6% of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline
    production decreased last week, averaging 9.7 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel
    production increased last week, averaging 4.9 million barrels per day.

    U.S. crude oil imports averaged 6.5 million barrels per day last week, down by 392,000
    barrels per day from the previous week. Over the past four weeks, crude oil imports
    averaged about 6.8 million barrels per day, 11.7% less than the same four-week period
    last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline
    blending components) last week averaged 688,000 barrels per day, and distillate fuel
    imports averaged 195,000 barrels per day.

    U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum
    Reserve) increased by 2.8 million barrels from the previous week. At 442.3 million
    barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 2% below the five year average for this time
    of year. Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 2.9 million barrels last week and
    are about 2% above the five year average for this time of year. Finished gasoline and
    blending components inventories both decreased last week.

    Distillate fuel inventories
    decreased by 2.1 million barrels last week and are about 5% below the five year average
    for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories increased by 0.5 million barrels last
    week and are about 16% above the five year average for this time of year.

    commercial petroleum inventories increased last week by 0.1 million barrels last week.

    Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 20.7 million barrels per
    day, down by 0.1% from the same period last year. Over the past four weeks, motor
    gasoline product supplied averaged 9.2 million barrels per day, down by 1.9% from the
    same period last year. Distillate fuel product supplied averaged 4.3 million barrels per
    day over the past four weeks, up by 6.0% from the same period last year. Jet fuel product
    supplied was up 0.3% compared with the same four-week period last year

  4. Robert Inget on Wed, 27th Mar 2019 9:52 am 

    My Take on EIA Repore

    Previous week’s huge draw was NOT made up last week. In fact this repore is quite bullish showing
    how utterly dependent we are on Venezuelan HEAVY oil needed to make diesel, HO, & jet fuel.
    (see distillates) The word is refineries that depend
    on heavy will close this weekend.

    Venezuela ain’t coming back on line (for US consumption) for decades.
    Canada could supply the US w/heavy crude were
    pipelines operational.

    The US is now faced w/ a national emergency.
    (food growing, shipping)
    (oh, the rules for high sulfur tanker fuels have changed) look it up.

    If we need to import Saudi crude it’s gonna cost us.
    (remember, KSA needs at least $70 to keep buying weapons to kill fellow Muslims)

  5. Robert Inget on Wed, 27th Mar 2019 10:06 am 

    I’ve been telling you all this day might come.
    It has.

    Venezuela exported ZERO crude to US two weeks running. That’s all you boys and girl need to know.


    World wide, exports were lower.

    OPEC stays low.

    Big drop from Mexico, ECUADOR

    Unaccounted imports are also low.

    Product exports recovered, but they will be affected by the fire (next week).

    Adjustments are still crazy, this week positive.

  6. Robert Inget on Wed, 27th Mar 2019 1:02 pm 

    About that Venezuela:

    U.S. President Donald Trump says Russia “has to get out” of Venezuela, following the recent arrival of Russian military personnel in that country.

    “All options are open,” Trump repeated several times in response to a reporter’s question Wednesday about whether the United States is willing to put “boots on the ground” to remove the Russians.

    Trump added that Moscow is well aware of the U.S. stance.

    Trump spoke to reporters at the White House alongside Fabiana Rosales, the wife of Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared interim President Juan Guaido.

  7. Davy on Wed, 27th Mar 2019 1:19 pm 

    Great comments Robert.

    Saved to my notes

  8. Not Davy on Wed, 27th Mar 2019 1:42 pm 

    JuanPee posting

    Davy on Wed, 27th Mar 2019 1:19 pm

  9. Extinctioniscomingsoon on Wed, 27th Mar 2019 2:07 pm 

    In 2017 the world generated 85% of the energy we used by burning fossil fuels.

  10. redfish28 on Thu, 28th Mar 2019 7:28 am 

    And so with peak demand coming, do you think everyone will produce Oil at $10/bbl? Or do you think when Oil hits $10, maybe some producers(Nationals) will be out of business and there might even be less Oil available then at peak demand?

  11. Antius on Thu, 28th Mar 2019 9:01 am 

    “And so with peak demand coming, do you think everyone will produce Oil at $10/bbl? Or do you think when Oil hits $10, maybe some producers (Nationals) will be out of business and there might even be less Oil available then at peak demand?”

    Indeed yes. This is exactly how peak oil (production) will happen and quite soon in my opinion. This bizarre discussion of peak oil demand seems to be an attempt to soften us up and make us feel more comfortable about the inevitable; kind of like… ‘It doesn’t matter; production is falling because we don’t need it anymore’. That would be more convincing if people weren’t getting poorer and poorer (outside of the top 1% of course).

    Sequence of events:

    (1) Depletion leads to high prices, which then undermine the profitability of the economy, leading to recession. Central banks respond with low interest rates and quantitative easing, which makes debt easier to carry but encourages even more debt accumulation. That happened after 2008.

    (2) Quantitative easing and low interest rates create the illusion of growth by inflating asset bubbles, but rising energy cost of energy and crashing EROI, means that real wages for most people fall and the amount that they can afford to pay for energy and energy products declines, even as depletion increases the cost of production. Paradoxically, cheap money created by central banks leads to the brief illusion of plenty, as essentially free credit flows into unconventional fossil and renewable energy projects that would never be profitable in normal times (2008-2020);

    (3) Ultimately, oil producers can no longer earn enough through oil sales to fund upstream investments and production begins to fall, even under very loose fiscal and monetary conditions (2020). This is likely to be hastened by a debt crisis, which will probably hit around 2020, now that the yield curve has started to invert. Decline in absolute energy supply has been kept at bay until now by a seemingly endless supply of cheap money from central banks, loaned at interest rates and bond rates that are beneath inflation; which have supported energy projects whose real returns are negative. But monetary policy is not a perpetual motion machine. We are essentially borrowing prosperity from the future.

    The process of collapse is not smooth. The system can absorb shortfalls in energy supply by accumulating debt and inflating money supply, giving the brief appearance of resilience. But eventually, the interest payments on debt, rising inequality and close to zero returns on capital bring the system to breaking point (financial crisis). You will see investment in shale oil and renewable energy projects tumble at this point and maybe pick up once again with fresh quantitative easing, assuming that the currency has any purchasing power left at this point.

    The non-linear dynamics of the energy collapse confuses a lot of people (like Cloggie), who witness an apparently stable system (albeit with abnormal monetary conditions), with investment pouring into things like tight (shale) oil and renewable energy projects and they assume that this represents a transition at hand to a more sustainable system. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about. In reality, it is more like a man dying from thirst and trying to drink sea water. For the final few minutes of his life he appears to have found the solution to his problems.

  12. Davy on Fri, 29th Mar 2019 5:19 am 

    “NEXT OIL DOMINO TO FALL? Mexico Becomes A Net Oil Importer” srs rocco report

    “For the first time in more than 50 years, Mexico has become a net importer of oil. This is undoubtedly bad news for the Mexican Government as it has relied upon its oil revenues to fund a large percentage of its public spending…Unfortunately, the downturn of Mexico’s oil production was also due to the peak and decline of the Cantarell Oil Field, which topped out at 2.1 mbd in 2004 and is now below 135,000 barrels per day…Of course, we don’t know if Mexico will be able to increase production, but if we consider the disaster that is taking place at PEMEX, the country’s national oil company, I highly doubt domestic oil production will recover. Why? Well, let’s just say, PEMEX is on the verge of bankruptcy as the company published two troubling signs in its Q4 2018 Financial Report: Falling Oil Production Rising Long-Term Debt

  13. Davy on Fri, 29th Mar 2019 5:25 am 

    “Venezuela’s Oil Production In Jeopardy After New Blackout” oil price dot com

    “Venezuela is once again finding itself in the dark in another massive power outage, according to Aljazeera, weighing further on the South American country that is struggling to maintain its oil output and oil exports amid US sanctions.”

  14. Davy on Fri, 29th Mar 2019 5:28 am 

    “Perry extends another $3.7 billion loan guarantee for Georgia nuclear plant” Houston chronical

    “Six years after construction began on two new reactors at the nuclear facility, cost estimates have ballooned to more than $25 billion, with the federal government now committed to more than $12 billion in loan guarantees.”

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