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IEA says hopes of higher, stable oil prices could be dashed quickly
15 November 2017, 12:23 | Jan Cross
Crude oil is extracted from the Monterey Shale formation near Bakersfield CaliforniaAlamy
Natural gas use will grow quickly, by 40 percent by 2040.
The IEA, meanwhile, delivered a surprisingly downbeat outlook for oil demand in its monthly market report, showing an expected slowdown in consumption that was at odds with a more bullish view from the producer group OPEC on Monday.
In what could come as grim news for officials attending global climate talks in Bonn, Germany, the IEA expects oil demand to keep rising until 2040.
Oil-dependent Venezuela's crude output dipped last month below 2 million barrels per day, its lowest level in almost three decades, global producer group Opec said on Monday. In its World Energy Outlook 2018, the Paris-based IEA said it had cut its longer-term oil price projections from previous year, partly because of the falling cost of both renewable and conventional sources of energy, the worldwide push to tackle climate change and improve air quality and the boom in USA shale oil and gas output. "Meeting this demand would require an overall investment of around $10.5 trillion across upstream, midstream and downstream operations" Opec Secretary-General, Mohammad Barkindo, said noting that the 2017 outlook was more positive than past year, partly thanks to oil exporting nations' efforts to stabilise the market. However, this is expected to cut only 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd), or about two per cent, off global oil demand by that time.
The US government said on Monday US shale production in December would rise for a 12th consecutive month, increasing by 80,000 bpd. Scientists just this week said that emissions of the heat-trapping gas rose this year after three years of not growing.
Despite the cautious sentiment, traders said oil prices were unlikely to fall far, largely due to supply restrictions led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russian Federation, which have helped reduce excess stockpiles.
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Chris Watling, CEO and chief market strategist at Longview Economics, was quoted as saying that the adoption of EVs could lead to global peak oil demand as soon as 2023, which will result in oil prices crashing to $10.
Fitch Ratings said in its 2018 oil outlook that it assumed 2018 "average oil prices will be broadly unchanged year-on-year and that the recent price recovery with Brent exceeding $60 per barrel may not be sustained".
Global energy needs will rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30 per cent between today and 2040, the equivalent of adding another China and India.
In addition, analysts said oil prices were pressured by a global commodities selloff, led by base metals like nickel and copper, due to weaker-than-expected economic data from China.
A cooling Chinese economy also stoked some concerns about demand, although so far the country's refiners are processing crude oil near record levels of 11.89 million bpd.
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