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EIA Forecasts Global Petroleum Consumption to Grow 47% by 2030; Transportation Accounts for Half

World energy use by fuel type. Click to enlarge.

Worldwide total energy consumption will grow by 71% between 2003 and 2030, according to the reference case projection from the International Energy Outlook 2006 (IEO2006) released today by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The projected reference case world oil prices are 35% higher in 2025 than in last year’s IEO, and higher prices dampen expected growth in world oil demand, which is 8 million barrels per day lower in 2025 than in last year’s reference case. Nevertheless, the IEO projects petroleum consumption to grow strongly, reaching 118 million barrels per day in 2030—an increase of 47% from 2003. The United States, China, and India together account for 51% of the projected growth in world oil use.

Although oil’s share of total energy use is projected to fall from 38% in 2003 to 33% in 2030, it still retains the largest single share of the global energy market.

The reference case projects petroleum consumption in the US to increase 37.3% from 2003, climbing from 24.3 million barrels per day (mbpd) to 33.4 mbpd. The EIA forecasts China’s consumption growth at a brisk 3.8% per year, jumping up 168% from 5.6 mbpd in 2003 to 15.0 mbpd by 2030. Indian consumption is seen growing 2.4% per year, accounting for a 96% increase from 2.3 mbpd in 2003 to 4.5 mbpd in 2030.


Much of the world’s incremental oil demand is projected for use in the transportation sector, where there are few competitive alternatives to petroleum; however, several of the technologies associated with unconventional liquids (gas-to-liquids, coal-to-liquids, and ethanol and biodiesel produced from energy crops) are expected to meet a growing share of demand for petroleum liquids during the projection period.

Of the projected increase in oil use in the reference case over the 2003 to 2030 period, one-half occurs in the transportation sector. The industrial sector accounts for a 39-percent share of the projected increase in world oil consumption, mostly for chemical and petrochemical processes.

To meet the higher demand (38 mbpd increase in consumption plus additional production to offset field depletion), the EIA projects that members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will increase their oil production by 53.6% from 33 mbpd in 2003 to 50.7 mbpd in 2030.

The agency also assumes that non-OPEC oil production—spurred by high prices—will increase by 47.3%, increasing from 49.3 mbpd in 2003 to 72.6 mbpd in 2030.

World unconventional production (including oil sands, bitumen, biofuels, coal-to-liquids, and gas-to-liquids) increases by 9.7 million barrels per day between 2003 and 2030, representing 25% of the total world liquids supply increase.


In the IEO2006 reference case, which does not include specific policies to limit greenhouse gas emissions, total energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are projected to rise from 25.0 billion metric tons in 2003 to 33.7 billion metric tons in 2015 and 43.7 billion metric tons in 2030.

Much of the projected increase in emissions is expected to occur in the non-OECD regions of the world, accompanying large increases fossil fuel use. Non-OECD countries accounts for three-fourths of the projected growth in emissions between 2003 and 2030.




"OPEC) will increase their oil production by 53.6%" if they find a way of converting sand into oil.

Isn't EIA the same agency that projected that price of barrel of oil will not go above $50 for next 30+ years few years ago.

Last time I check there isn't many easily recovereble oil fields around(unless they are hidden under WMD trucks in Iraq) and many large fields are maturing. More and more companies tap into hard to get oil fields to get to hard to refine oil.
Oh well, ignorance is a bliss

Rafael Seidl

W2 -

if you believe the demand projection, you should also expect oil to cost well over $100 (in 2006 dollars) by 2030. Geopolitical supply risks aren't going to go away. If anything, they will get worse, increasing the risk premium for drilling in places like the Middle East, Sudan and Nigeria.

Oil companies (both private and nationalized) are loath to overinvest in production capacity. There is still some potential for incremental oil recovery in many fields, using secondary and tertiary techniques that only make sense at high oil prices. Still, the 53.6% increase scenario for OPEC by 2030 implies a massive expansion of the use these techniques plus new oil fields plus Iraq getting up to full capacity plus a lot of LNG/GTL infrastructure.

Btw, Iraq's remaining proven reserves are indeed huge, second only to Saudi Arabia and similarly easy to tap. Saddam did damage the reservoirs by re-injecting refinery residue, though.

Anyhow, EIA once again completely ignores global warming, which may yet sharply curb our appetite for fossil fuels and throw a gigantic spanner in the works. It's hard to predict at which point voters/consumers will decide the risk is simply too great; the herd mentality is an irrational and non-linear phenomenon.

Mark R. W. Jr.

All the more reason why we need to invest in biofuels and plug-in eletric/plug-in hybrids, uh? Offer a better mousetrap than oil and the world will beat a path to the inventors' doors.

David Michie

Rafael, the EIA ignores global warming because they know full well *we* are ignoring global warming and will continue to do so. Outside of the informed few who lurk in blogs like this, the general populous simply does not know or care about climate change. Its some far off thing that may or may not happen.

You will notice the expanding use of coal to 2030 in the graph attached to this story. According to Harvard Magazine coal use will accelerate after 2030 as the world's reserves of oil and natural gas are depleted.



The world has far too much coal for its own good. It is cheap and plentiful. Unlike oil there are no supply constraints, and there is no price signal for consumers to conserve unless it is artificially imposed by governments through a carbon tax ... which would take extraordinary courage for a government of any political persuasion.


I do recall seeing an EIA speach graphic that indicated that the existing trend was definitely not sustainable beyond 2030 (I'm sure the peak oil crowd will chime in here). I have heard them mention GHG problems, they just don't seam to dwell on the problem as much as maybe they should. (I suppose they may not consider it their main mandate)
It seems to me that the EIA simply takes existing trends and projects them forward without taking in to account any changes due to technology (how could they, nobody can predict what they'll think up next). Where is Hari Seldon when you need him? Who would have thought that the desire for lighter laptops could lead to the battery technology that might just help save our butts. My next car is a plug-in even if I have to install the batteries myself.


Speaking of the electricity side of the issue:

I think renewables accounting for only 9% is massively understated; that's a less than 0.5% growth rate per year. Even though the 50% growth in wind and 24% growth in solar will slow as the industry matures, that is still a lot of capacity coming on line. Oil and gas will simply not be able to grow at the rate necessary to keep up with demand, and that oil and gas will come even more than they are now from sources far less secure and desirable than Canada, the North Sea, or the US.

Renewables, coal, and nuclear are all going to grow much faster and oil and gas will level off or decline due to price, competitive, and geopolitical factors. Strategically, renewables are vital for China, India, the US, and Europe because all of us are dependent on energy from increasingly insecure places and that will motivate power decisions as much as economics.

allen zheng

Looks like nations with large land masses, of mid elevaion, adaquate water, high tech, and low pop density will win out long term. US, Canada, Austrailia will be able to ride out the higher energy costs, and climate change through conservation, tech productivity efficiency gains and direct-indirect (photovot. cells, thermal-hydro, wind) solar power. Pretty much everyone else is screwed, or dependent on others to meet their needs.

allen zhengc

indirect->biomass Canada has vast taiga forests.

Max Reid

In the last 10 years, all the renewables were expanding at the rate of 25 % and at this rate, they may have some 20 % + share in 2030.

Also the Oil consumption which grew 3.5 % in 2004 has declined to 1.3 % in 2005 because of higher prices and lower supply. Coal is growing fast and according to the bp stats, the share of oil in the 5 top fuels is 36.1 % in 2005 down from 36.6 % in 2004.

At this rate, it should be down to 25 % and not 33 % as claimed in the report.

Max Reid

BP in its Statistics report has mentioned about Wind & Ethanol (earlier they ignored it).
Wind contributes 0.25 % of World's energy while Ethanol give 0.15 %.

So far only US & Brazil were working on Ethanol, but now China, Europe & India are getting in.

By 2010, both the fuel may have atleast 1 % share.

Stan Peterson

This is an example of:

Garbage In & Garbage Out.

The discussion on these pages are directly leading to a reduction in US oil demand by as much as 85% as petroleum is removed from its uses as a transportation fuel.This won't happen soon enough for the fire eaters here, bu tit will happen long before 2030.

And it won't happen because of greenie exhortations to be green. It will happen by the gentle invisible hand of efficiency and cost. It will just be cheaper than any other course of action to run your PHEV on electrons than on c8 molecules.

it will be less costly to generate those electrons from non fossil sources than other wise, so they majority will be generated that way.

This is is the problem with projections. "if this keeps up..." just never does.

It adds the only rationality to global warming concerns. People really worried about New York ?city drowning in a swamp of horse manure from all the carts needed to bring food and haul trash away in 1900. There "If this keeps up..." is similar to concerns about adding CO2 to the atmosphere for 300 - 500 year as to raise average temperatures as much as if you moved from upper Manhattan to the Battery Park and got that much closer to the Equator. It is patently absurd, when we know that we are all working to reduce and displace the burning of fossil fuels and will accomplish that in a lot less than 300-500 years much more like 30 at the outside...

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