Global oil consumption could hit a massive 134 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2030, up from 85 million bpd currently, and demand is unlikely to peak in the foreseeable future, according to a recent academic paper.
While the projection has achieved widespread headlines, and been seized on by oil bulls as further evidence the world will struggle to meet rising demand, it is based on controversial assumptions about how emerging-market consumption will respond to increasing prices.
It is contained in a careful econometric study published by Joyce Dargay and Dermot Gately, “World oil demand’s shift toward faster growing and less price-responsive products and regions.”
Dargay and Gately’s figure is almost 20 million bpd higher than similar projections by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), which are projecting global demand of 108 million and 107 million bpd respectively in 2030.
TWO MORE SAUDI ARABIAS
Most forecasters and oil producers are now working on the assumption global demand will peak around 105-110 million bpd sometime in the decade after 2020. But if Dargay and Gately are right, the world will need to find and develop much more oil. Oil production would have to rise 50 percent in just 20 years.