First published in 2007, OPEC's World Oil Outlook (WOO) offers a thorough review and assessment of various scenarios related to the medium- and long-term development of the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil industry. The publication is a valuable reference tool, providing keen insights into key industry issues, such as demand and supply, refining, investments, costs, policies and sustainable development. It also outlines the challenges and opportunities that the industry may face in the future.
In this year’s WOO, it is essential to emphasize that given the ever-shifting dynamics of today’s global oil market, alongside the need to freeze the Outlook’s modelling processes and certain assumptions by mid-year, some of the short-term numbers will have naturally shifted to reflect the fast changing market fundamentals.
Here are some highlights:
- Global energy demand is set to increase by almost 50% in the period to 2040, with the overall energy mix continuing to be led by fossil fuels at almost 78%;
- Combined, oil and gas are expected to supply around 53% of the global energy demand by 2040;
- Medium-term oil demand is revised upward, compared to the WOO 2014, rising above 97 million barrels a day (mb/d) by 2020;
- Oil demand is projected to be at 110 mb/d by 2040;
- Long-term demand is dominated by the developing Asia region, which accounts for 70% of the increase by 2040;
- Non-OPEC liquids supply increases from 56.5 mb/d in 2014 to around 60 mb/d in 2020, a downward revision of 1 mb/d compared to the WOO 2014. By 2040, non-OPEC liquids supply falls below 60 mb/d;
- OPEC crude expands by 10 mb/d to a level of 40.7 mb/d by 2040 – an increase of 1 mb/d compared with last year’s publication;
- The long-term value of the OPEC Reference Basket is assumed to rise from more than $70/b in 2020 to $95/b by 2040 (both in 2014 dollars). It is important to stress, however, that the assumed prices do not represent a price forecast or a desired price path. They are a working assumption for the Reference Case scenario;
- At the global level, oil-related investment required to cover future demand for oil over the forecast period 2015–2040 is estimated at almost $10 trillion, in 2014 prices;
- A review of existing refinery projects indicates that around 7 mb/d of new distillation capacity will be added globally in the period 2015–2020;
- Surplus refining capacity in the medium-term has eased over the past year; but the outlook continues to point to a period of competition for product markets and the need for additional closures remains;
- Required cumulative distillation capacity additions are projected to be around 20 mb/d by 2040.