World energy use to rise 56% by 2040 led by Asia, EIA says

World energy consumption will rise 56% in the next three decades, driven by growth in developing countries such as China and India, the Energy Information Administration said.

Demand will increase to 820 quadrillion British thermal units in 2040 from 524 quadrillion in 2010, the EIA said in the International Energy Outlook 2013, with the two Asian countries accounting for half the gain. One quadrillion Btu is equal to 172 million barrels of crude oil. China’s energy consumption will double the U.S. level by 2040.

“Rising prosperity in China and India is a major factor in the outlook for global energy demand,” EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski said in a news release. “This will have a profound effect on the development of world energy markets.”

Demand in countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development will increase by 90% through 2040. Use by OECD members, including the U.S. and Japan, will grow 17%.

Use of petroleum and other liquid fuels will grow to 115 million barrels a day in 2040 from 87 million in 2010. Liquid fuels will account for 28% of demand in 2040, down from 34% in 2010.

Brent Prices

Brent crude will average $106 a barrel in 2020 and $163 in 2040, valued in 2011 dollars. Brent, a gauge for more than half the world’s oil, averaged $107.83 this year through yesterday.

Brent for September settlement slid 40 cents, or 0.4%, to $106.79 a barrel at 10:25 a.m. New York time on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, fell $1.10, or 1%, to $104.29 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

U.S. oil production climbed to 7.56 million barrels a day in the week ended July 19, the most since December 1990, the EIA said yesterday in a weekly report.

A combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has unlocked supplies in shale formations in North Dakota, Texas and other states. Rising output helped the U.S. meet 89% of its energy needs in March, the highest rate since April 1986, EIA data show.

“Advances in technology make liquids production in previously inaccessible regions increasingly feasible,” the EIA said. “An important example of the potential impact of technological advances is the rapid growth of U.S. shale oil production in recent years.”

World Shale

World shale oil recoverable resources are 345 billion barrels, according to the EIA.

The report also made these predictions:

  • Fossil fuels, including oil, natural gas and coal, will supply almost 80% of world energy through 2040.
  • Natural gas use will grow 64%, faster than any other fossil fuel. Consumption will be 185 trillion cubic feet in 2040, up from 113 trillion in 2010.
  • Renewable and nuclear, the fastest-growing sources, will increase by 2.5% a year.
  • Coal consumption will rise 1.3% a year to 220 quadrillion Btu in 2040 from 147 quadrillion.
  • Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are projected to increase 46% to 45 billion metric tons by 2040.
  • Net electricity generation will almost double, rising to 39 trillion kilowatt-hours from 20.2 trillion.

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