Economy

Developing nations will drive energy demand by 35%: Exxon Mobil

PTI Houston | Updated on January 31, 2011 Published on January 31, 2011

A file picture of an oil refinery.   -  Business Line

With global supplies also abundant, demand for natural gas for electricity generation purposes will rise by 85 per cent by 2030, compared to the 2005 levels, and will chip away at coal’s share in such activities, the report said.

Global energy demand will jump by 35 per cent by 2030 vis-a-vis 2005 levels amid rapid economic growth and an improvement in living standards in the developing nations, an Exxon Mobil Corp forecast shows.

The growth will come primarily from developing nations like China, India, Russia and Brazil, where the booming economies are lifting the living standards.

However, the environmental impact of enhanced consumption of energy will be lessened by efficiency gains and a shift toward less-polluting fuels, the Texas oil giant said in its ‘Outlook for Energy: A View to 2030’.

The latest report is in line with the previous annual forecasts by Exxon Mobil and by other energy companies and analysts. But it does find Exxon Mobil making a more aggressive prediction than it did a year ago about the role of natural gas in the global energy mix over the next two decades.

Technological breakthroughs have allowed oil and gas companies to extract vast quantities of natural gas from dense shale and other rock formations once thought too costly to explore.

Production from these so-called unconventional formations is expected to meet more than half of the US demand by 2030, Exxon Mobil said.

With global supplies also abundant, demand for natural gas for electricity generation purposes will rise by 85 per cent by 2030, compared to the 2005 levels, and will chip away at coal’s share in such activities, the report said.

Fuelled by such gains, natural gas will meet 26 per cent of the global energy demand by 2030, up from 21 per cent in 2005, the company predicts.

Wind, solar and biofuel energy generation will also grow sharply, but even with the increase, they will still account for just about 2.5 per cent of the total global energy demand by 2030, the report said.

Fossil fuels including oil, natural gas and coal, are expected to account for the lion’s share of demand over that period.

The report also concluded that natural gas is set to become the second-largest energy source behind oil, offering a cleaner alternative that will help reduce the environmental impact of higher energy demand.

The oil giant added that further exploration of shale and other non-traditional energy sources is necessary to meet the expected demand.

“Our energy outlook clearly points to a growing demand for energy globally, which reflects improving living standards for millions of people around the world,” said the Exxon Mobil Chairman and CEO, Mr Rex W. Tillerson.

“Exxon Mobil will continue to invest in technology and innovation to develop new economic energy supplies to help meet this demand while looking for ways to reduce the environmental impact,” he added.

Published on January 31, 2011
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