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ExxonMobil publishes energy outlook through 2040

12 December 2011

ExxonMobil released “The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040”, extending its annual long-term energy forecast to 2040 for the first time. The Outlook projects that global energy demand in 2040 will be about 30% higher than it was in 2010, led by growth in developing regions such as China, India, Africa and other emerging economies.

While oil will remain the most widely used fuel, overall energy demand will be reshaped by a continued shift toward natural gas and less carbon intensive energy sources, as well as improvements in energy efficiency in transportation, where the expanded use of hybrid vehicles will help push average new car fuel economy to nearly 50 mpg by 2040.

Rising demand for electricity is identified as the single largest influence on energy trends. Transportation is the second-fastest growing demand sector, behind electricity generation.

ExxonMobil projects that global electricity demand will rise by 80% through 2040 as economies and living standards improve, and consumers switch to electricity from other sources such as oil, coal or biomass. By 2040, four out of every 10 units of energy produced in the world will be going toward the production of electricity. The mix of fuels used to produce electricity will change, however, as nations shift away from coal in favor of natural gas. By 2040, 30% of the world's electricity will be produced using natural gas, while demand for coal will peak and experience its first long-term decline in modern history.

In transportation, ExxonMobil sees advanced hybrid vehicles accounting for 50% of the cars on the road in 2040, compared to about 1% today. This, plus improved fuel economy in conventional vehicles, will cause demand for energy for personal vehicles to remain essentially flat through 2040 even as the number of personal vehicles in the world doubles. However, demand for energy for commercial transportation—trucks, airplanes, ships and trains—will rise by more than 70%, driven by economic growth, particularly in non-OECD nations.

Demand for oil and other liquid fuels will rise by nearly 30%, and most of that increase will be linked to transportation. A growing share of the supplies used to meet liquid-fuel demand will come from deepwater, oil sands, tight oil, natural gas liquids and biofuels.

Some of the other findings and predictions are:

Source: ExxonMobil