US oil and gas ‘resur­gence’ ex­pected as de­mand grows

Grim news for of­fi­cials at cli­mate talks

Kuwait Times - - Business -

LON­DON: Oil will con­tinue grow­ing as a source of en­ergy for over two decades, with the US set to be­come the undis­puted leader in crude and gas pro­duc­tion, the In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency said yes­ter­day.

The re­port from the Paris-based agency will come as grim news for of­fi­cials at­tend­ing global cli­mate talks in Bonn, Ger­many, as they grap­ple with ways to con­tain car­bon emis­sions. Sci­en­tists just this week said that emis­sions of the heat-trap­ping gas rose this year af­ter three years of not grow­ing.

The IEA said oil pro­duc­tion will be driven by con­tin­ued growth in en­ergy-hun­gry in­dus­tries. Though so­lar power is set to be­come the cheap­est source of new elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion and the boom years for coal are over, oil and gas will con­tinue to meet the bulk of the world’s en­ergy needs, the IEA said.

Oil de­mand is fore­cast to keep ris­ing un­til 2040, with nat­u­ral gas grow­ing by a sharp 40 per­cent. A more wide­spread use of elec­tric cars will not be enough to con­sign oil to the past, said IEA Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Fatih Birol.

“It is far too early to write the obit­u­ary of oil, as growth for trucks, avi­a­tion, petro­chem­i­cals, ship­ping and avi­a­tion keep push­ing de­mand higher,” said Birol.

To­tal en­ergy de­mand is ex­pected to have grown by 30 per­cent by 2040 - and would be grow­ing twice that with­out ef­forts to im­prove en­ergy ef­fi­cien­cies. The price of oil has risen over 30 per­cent since June to a two-year high of around $57 a bar­rel in New York trad­ing amid ev­i­dence of stronger eco­nomic growth around the world. But an­a­lysts ex­pect the price to not rise much fur­ther in com­ing months as the US ramps up pro­duc­tion.

The IEA echoed that view, say­ing it ex­pects the US to see a resur­gence in its oil and gas in­dus­tries and be­come the world’s big­gest net ex­porter by the end of the 2020s. Asian coun­tries will be­come the big­gest net im­porters of oil and gas, tak­ing in 70 per­cent of im­ports by 2040 as their economies ex­pand at a fast clip. En­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivists de­cried the IEA fore­casts as dis­count­ing any ef­forts by coun­tries to limit emis­sions as part of the Paris Agree­ment on cli­mate change.

“None of its core sce­nar­ios for the fu­ture of en­ergy pro­vide a rea­son­able chance that the world will avoid cli­mate catas­tro­phe,” said Adam Scott, se­nior ad­vi­sor at Oil Change In­ter­na­tional.

Nor­way Arc­tic oil Mean­while, Nor­way’s plan for Arc­tic oil ex­plo­ration is un­con­sti­tu­tional be­cause it vi­o­lates the right to a healthy en­vi­ron­ment, a lawyer for Green­peace and the Na­ture and Youth en­vi­ron­men­tal group told an Oslo court yes­ter­day.

The case is the first of its kind in Nor­way and says a 2015 oil li­cens­ing round in the Arc­tic that gave awards to Sta­toil, Chevron and oth­ers vi­o­lates the con­sti­tu­tion. Nor­way signed the 2016 Paris ac­cord, which aims to end the fos­sil fuel era this century. The coun­try is West­ern Europe’s largest oil pro­ducer and oil and gas are its most im­por­tant ex­ports. Gov­ern­ment lawyers say the case is a pub­lic­ity stunt that would cost jobs if it is suc­cess­ful.

But it is part of an emerg­ing branch of law world­wide in which plain­tiffs in­voke a na­tion’s found­ing prin­ci­ples in a bid to bring about pol­icy change to limit global warm­ing.

“We ar­gue that these li­censes are not al­lowed un­der the law as per the Con­sti­tu­tion,” Cathrine Ham­bro, rep­re­sent­ing the plain­tiffs, told the court in her open­ing ar­gu­ment of a case likely to last two weeks. “We ask the court to make a qual­ity check of these de­ci­sions, which have large and ir­re­versible con­se­quences.” The state is rep­re­sented by At­tor­ney Gen­eral Fredrik Se­jer­sted, which un­der­lines the grav­ity of the case. In an­other sign of its high pro­file, former Supreme Court judge, Ketil Lund, is ad­vis­ing the plain­tiffs on be­half of Nor­we­gian Grand­par­ents Against Cli­mate Change, who are co-plain­tiffs. —Agen­cies

Oil pro­duc­tion will be driven by en­ergy-hun­gry in­dus­tries

SACRA­MENTO: In this photo, Chris­tian Ro­driguez fu­els his ve­hi­cle in Sacra­mento, Calif. The price of oil has risen by about one-third since the sum­mer, but many ex­perts think the surge won’t last. They point to grow­ing US pro­duc­tion. —AP

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