Global oil demand may have peaked, oil giant BP says

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The demand for oil will no longer increase because peak consumption would be reached, predicts British Petroleum (BP), one of the world’s largest oil majors. According to its annual report, oil consumption should remain “stable”, around 100 million barrels per day for the next twenty years, before falling to 95 million barrels in 2050.

The British hydrocarbon giant British Petroleum (BP) said Monday, September 14 that the demand for oil in the world may have already reached its peak and not stop declining due to the consequences of the pandemic and the energy transition.

« Demand for liquid fuels will continue to grow in India, other Asian countries and Africa “, But it will be” offset by declining consumption in developed economies “. Last year, BP predicted an increase in demand again in the coming years, but the coronavirus has been there.

Consumer behavior is changing

What to think of these prospects of announced decline in oil consumption, moreover from a giant of the sector? ” Demand will peak. Is it 2020, 2025 or 2030 ? The question is open. We saw with 2009, the financial crisis, a sharp drop in demand and then after, it started again. The difference is that today, we are in a world where we have more and more alternative energies. We also have a desire to find a solution to the climate », Analyzes Thierry Bros, analyst in the energy sector and professor at Science-Po Paris.

The professor at Science-Po Paris notes: “ Now you have changing consumer behaviors, and their behaviors can change for growth or decrease in demand. I will cite two of them. Aviation will be very heavily impacted. We no longer risk taking the plane as often as we did before. On the other hand, in a pandemic world, there may be chances that you take your car more often compared to public transport. »

Industry interests

British Petroleum, which is one of the world’s leading oil majors, can it have a strategic interest in sending this kind of message? ” I do not see the hidden agenda that there could be here. I believe that there is indeed a will of large companies to adapt to the energy transition and to adapt to it, we have to predict it. And that’s a prediction “, Believes Thierry Bros.

For its part, the International Energy Agency (IEA) lowered its forecast for the evolution of oil demand for this year on Tuesday, September 15 due to the health crisis, citing even more prospects ” fragile For the market.

It now expects an annual drop of 8.4 million barrels per day (mb / d) in global demand this year, against 8.1 mb / d expected in the previous report. Next year, demand is expected to rebound and ultimately settle at 97.1 mb / d next year, still lower than in 2017.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had already been more pessimistic about global oil demand this year and in 2021, citing continued weakness in some Asian countries following the Covid-19 pandemic.

►Also read: Coronavirus: colossal losses for oil companies

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