OPEC: Crude oil will remain relevant beyond 2045

Secretary-General of OPEC, Mr. Mohammed Barkindo

Secretary General of the Organisation for Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, Mohammad Barkindo, yesterday, disclosed that despite its current anaemic outlook, crude oil would continue to be relevant in the foreseeable future, up to 2045.

In his address at the Crescent Ideas Forum, Barkindo stated that in absolute terms, oil demand is expected to rise by almost 10 million barrels per day, bpd from 2019’s levels to around 109 million bpd in 2040, and then begin to plateau.

According to him, non-member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, will be the growth powerhouse, accounting for around 68 per cent of overall oil demand by 2045, with the economic tigers of India and China leading this growth.

He said: “In absolute terms, we expect oil demand in the developing and emerging economies rising by 22.5 million bpd to around 74 million bpd in 2045.

“The outlook for crude oil may look anemic now, but we anticipate a gradual normalization of demand growth as the world recovers from the COVID-19 shock. Our analysts foresee global oil demand returning to relatively robust annual growth and reaching nearly 104 million bpd by 2025.

“In the longer term, there are a number of factors that will drive consumption, such as population and economic growth, especially in developing and emerging economies. We expect the global economy to more than double from 2019 to 2045, to $258 trillion, and the population to grow by at least 20 per cent, to 9.5 billion.

“Simply put, our world will continue to thirst for energy. The World Oil Outlook anticipates that oil will remain the dominant fuel in the global energy mix for the foreseeable future, accounting for a nearly 28 per cent share in 2045, followed by gas at around 25 per cent.

“It is important to point out that it is the mainstream consensus of the leading reporting agencies is that oil and gas will retain their prominence in the energy mix for the foreseeable future.”

He expressed optimism that the promising vaccine developments, apart from the hope that they can quickly be brought to market to save lives, first and foremost, can also help reboot the global economy.

“Nonetheless, the oil market today is overshadowed by the resurgence of COVID-19 and a slower pace of economic recovery than we had envisioned in the second half of the year.

In this respect, our OPEC outlook for 2020 oil demand is now slightly above 90 million bpd,” he stated.

Barkindo added that OPEC’s outlook showed that petrochemicals and transportation would drive demand for crude oil going forward, noting, however, that electricity generation is the only area expected to see a decline, as oil gives way to renewables and natural gas.

He said: “Road transportation will be the real driver of oil needs, just as it is today, and will account for 43% of total demand by 2045. We again see the growth shift to emerging and developing economies as the use of alternative powertrains rises in the OECD countries.

“Aviation fuel consumption nosedived this year, falling by almost 50 per cent, but we expect it to recover and be a primary driver of oil demand going forward, growing by 2.8 million bpd by 2045.

“On the supply side, non-OPEC liquids are likely to recover from pandemic-related shut-ins over the medium term. Further down the road, however, non-OPEC liquids are expected to decline from a peak of nearly 72 million bpd by the end of this decade to around 65 million bpd in 2045, similar to levels in 2019.

“OPEC liquids will increase from nearly 34 million bpd in 2019 to 44 million bpd in 2045. By the end of our outlook period, OPEC member countries will account for 40 per cent of global liquids supply, up from 34 per cent last year.”

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