Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) projected global demand for oil, natural gas and other fuels to be about 35% higher in 2030 compared to 2005, as emerging markets drive the bulk of global demand.
Expanding prosperity in developing nations will increase energy demand more than 70% during the same time frame, the report said.
In contrast, Exxon said efficiency improvements and other measures will keep energy demand “essentially flat” in the so-called developed nations that are part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, even as their economic output grow an estimated 60%.
The forecast, from ExxonMobil’s annual outlook for energy survey, drew on analysis of about 100 countries, 15 demand sectors and 20 fuel types combined with economic, population and energy efficiency projections.
“Natural gas will be fastest growing major energy source, overtaking coal as the second-largest global energy source behind oil, and serving as a reliable, affordable and clean fuel for a wide variety of needs,” Exxon Mobil said.
“The forecasts also show a shift toward natural gas as businesses and governments look for reliable, affordable and cleaner ways to meet energy needs,” Chairman and Chief Executive Rex W. Tillerson said. “Newly unlocked supplies of shale gas and other unconventional energy sources will be vital in meeting this demand.”
Exxon said natural gas supply will continue to expand particularly in the U.S., where unconventional gas supplies are expected to meet more than 50% of gas demand by 2030.
At the same time, the energy company projected carbon dioxide emissions to lag the explosive growth rate of energy demand as efficiency improvements and higher natural gas usage reduce production of the greenhouse gas.
The report also said power generation will be the largest and fastest growing major energy-demand sector, representing 55% of the total growth in demand through 2030.