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Exxon’s 2040 Outlook: Fossil Fuels Aren’t Going Anywhere


The global energy mix will not look that much different for oil and gas in 2040, according to Exxon Mobil’s recently released 2017 Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040.


Source: Exxon 2017 Outlook for Energy

Both the middle class and world GDP is expected to double in the next 15 years, accelerating demand for air conditioned homes, cars, and appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, and smart phones. Non-OECD nations, particularly China and India, will experience the most economic growth, driven by urbanization.

Oil is expected to remain the world’s primary energy source, driven by demand for transportation fuel and feedstock for the chemical industry. Plastics and other advanced materials provide advantages to manufacturers and consumers including energy efficiency gains.

Natural gas is projected to grow the most of any energy type, accounting for a quarter of all demand by 2040. Coal will remain important but will lose a significant amount of its share as the world transitions to cleaner energy.

The World Electrifies

Increasing electrification will drive the growth in global energy demand over the next 25 years, 55 percent of energy demand growth coming from power generation to support increasingly digital and plugged-in lifestyles and electricity will grow the most of any sector.


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Source: Exxon 2017 Outlook for Energy

Natural gas demand will increase significantly, with the fuel gaining share across all sectors due to its abundance and flexibility. Different sectors will use different types of energy based on their economic supply options and suitability to different purposes.

A wide variety of energy types will support electricity generation, with gas, nuclear, and renewables all increasing their share in the mix to offset the decline of coal.

LNG Critical to Supplying Natural Gas Net Importers

Evolving natural gas supply and demand will also cause gas trade balances to shift, with North America, Russia, and the Middle East being net gas exporters by 2040.

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