US oil and gas ‘resurgence’ expected as demand grows
Grim news for officials at climate talks
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