The Center for Strategic and International Studies on
Thursday hosted Adam Sieminski, administrator for the US Energy
Information Agency (EIA). Sieminski shared highlights from the
agencys recent International Energy Outlook 2013 (IEO2013) report in a conference call with
Key findings from the study are:
- Globally speaking, gross domestic product (GDP) will
increase 3.6%/yr through 2040. It is a 56% increase from the
2010 levels. Much of the new economic expansion will be driven by
growing population and economies of China and India.
- Renewables are the fastest growing segment of the energy
- Natural gas is the fastest growing
fossil fuel; much of the new consumption is related to
development of the US shale gas resources
- Coal consumption will increase faster than crude oil.
Most of the coal consumption will be by China through 2030,
at which point China will shift from a
manufacturing focus to services.
- Annual carbon emissions will increase 40% by 2040 to
about 45 billion metric tons, according to Sieminski.
Strength in developing countries. China and India are responsible for the
majority of new energy consumption due to growing populations
and economic expansion. Energy efficiency is
improving in both nations but not enough to affect energy
consumption growth, the administrator explained.
China and India accounted for 25% of the
global energy consumption, but their share will increase
to 34% by 2040, with Chinas energy consumption at twice
the level of the US.
China is expected to remain as a coal-based
energy economy through 2030, with coal primarily used for
electrical power generation. However, China does have plans to
increase nuclear power plants to meet future energy need with
possible 160 gigawatts of capacity.
Crude oil. Non-OPEC nations are increasing
production at a faster rate than OPEC nations. Much
of the new production is driven by the deepwater and presalt
from Brazil, shale oil in the US, oil sands in Canada, and
conventional and unconventional resources in Russia.
Sieminski contends that Brazil needs to be better
organized in its plans for deepwater. According to the EIA
study, 115 million bpd production output by 2040 is possible.
The long-term view is that it is not a production problem to
meet 115 million bpd; rather, the problem is demand. New energy
efficiency requirements will decrease energy needs by developed
nations; thus less energy (crude oil, natural
gas and coal) will be needed
Natural gas. This hydrocarbon is the fastest growing
fossil fuel. Consumption will increase from 60Tcf ― 300
billion cfd (Bcfd) ― in 2010 to 500 Bcfd in 2040. Much of
the new natural
gas consumption will be by non-OECD nations with 300 Bcfd.
From the supply side, Russia and the US will be major
In closing, Administrator Sieminiski listed the key
uncertainty factors that could further change the
forecast. Those include:
- Unresolved long-term economic issues of the US
and Europe, as well as the impact of
China's economic expansion
- The timing of Japans full recovery from the 2011
nuclear/tsunami and how it impacts the economic
conditions of Asia
- Social unrest in the Middle East and North Africa and
potential unrest elsewhere, as those could create
volatility in oil pricing and potential supply
- Shale gas and shale oil production will drive supply and
demand for liquids.
- Climate policies are likely to dictate broader
global energy policies going forward.
Stephany Romanow is the editor of Hydrocarbon