Now near 100 million bpd, when will oil demand peak?
carbons such as oil, gas and coal is increasing, few analysts believe oil demand will decrease in the next decade.
If the current mix of policies continues, the IEA expects world oil demand to rise for at least the next 20 years, heading for 125 million bpd around mid-century.
Oil demand would rise less quickly if governments moved some way toward reducing the use of carbonbased fuels, putting into action already-announced plans, the IEA says.
But it warns governments that existing plans are unlikely to make a huge dent in carbon emissions, and only a thorough change in energy use will bring down oil demand.
The problem for the countries the IEA advises is that they are no longer primarily responsible for rising oil consumption.
While oil demand in the big, developed economies has stalled, consumption is increasing rapidly in countries outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Non-OECD oil demand has almost doubled over the last two decades as new industries develop in countries across Asia, Central and South America and Africa.
The research unit of China National Petroleum Corp predicts China’s oil demand will top out at around 13.8 million bpd as early as 2030.
Some analysts argue world oil demand could come down much faster if there were more efficiency gains in vehicles, greater market penetration by electric cars combined with lower economic growth and higher fuel prices.
Investment in solar power is rising rapidly and even Saudi Arabia, the de-facto leader of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, is supporting the industry, creating the world’s biggest solar power project.
Goldman Sachs has said oil demand could peak by 2024 under some circumstances, but slow adoption of new technology in less-developed economies could delay the change.
Consultancy Wood Mackenzie is somewhere in the middle of the range, expecting demand for transport to flatline from 2030 and overall use to peak in 2036. Its chief economist, Ed Rawle, argues a fall in oil demand is coming, whatever happens:
“The signs of peak oil demand really are there into the future. It’s a question of when, not if.”