World Expected To Become Increasingly Reliant on Mideast Oil
PARIS (AP) _ The world will become increasingly reliant on Middle East oil over the next two decades as production in the West declines and Third World consumption soars, an international energy group said today.
The oil nations of the Middle East and fellow OPEC member Venezuela are likely to provide nearly 50 percent of the world’s oil supply by 2010, the International Energy Agency said in its World Energy Outlook. They now provide about 30 percent.
Helga Steeg, the agency’s executive director, said at a news conference that the projections mean industrial nations should expand their emergency stocks of oil as a safeguard against possible supply disruptions.
The agency represents 23 industrialized democracies, including the United States, Japan, Canada and every major western European nation. The report said oil production by industrial nations would drop from 15.9 million barrels a day to 13.8 million barrels a day by 2010, primarily due to declines in the United States and the North Sea.
By contrast, output by the Middle East and Venezuela is projected to jump to 45 million barrels a day from the current 20 million. Overall world production will increase to 93 million barrels from 66 million, the report said.
Demand for oil in industrial nations is projected to grow by 20 percent over that period, from 37.9 million barrels a day to 45.2 million, the report said. Combined with the expected drop in production, this could force an increase of more than 40 percent in oil imports.
Industrial nations now account for more than half the world’s total energy use, including 56 percent of oil consumption. But by 2010, their share of oil consumption is projected to drop to 48 percent as population growth and urbanization doubles demand in developing countries.
Although global oil consumption is expected to rise by about 40 percent over the next two decades, oil’s share of total energy requirements is projected to drop from 39 percent to 37 percent. The share for natural gas is expected to increase from 21 percent to 24 percent, while coal is likely to remain steady at about 29 percent and nuclear power at 6 percent.
″Renewable energies, such as solar and wind power, are not expected to improve their cost competitiveness significantly,″ the report said. ″Their contribution to world energy requirements over the outlook period is expected to remain very small.″