We Are Moving Forward: The Future of Oil and Gas


Oil will hold a dominant position in the world energy demand at least next 20 years. Despite the small decline, oil will secure as many as 29 percent of world energy demand by 2035 vs 32 percent in 2015. The slight decline by 3 percent will occur because of gas, nuclear and renewables (including biofuels) sectors rise in the world energy demand share. ‘Global oil production becomes geographically more concentrated as low cost producers gain share. The Middle East, US, and Russia account for 63% of oil production in 2035, up from 56% in 2015.’ BP reports in its Energy Outlook-2017. BP publishes its energy outlooks on a regular basis. The Energy Outlooks allow to track in details the global energy trends. One of those energy trends is that BP expects 106 million barrels of oil per day as demand and 107 million barrels of oil per day as supply by 2035.

As a comparison: in 2015 while the average Brent Dated crude oil price was 52 dollars per barrel, the daily demand for oil was 93 million barrels along with 95 million barrels per day supply. The global oil demand will rise following by the world population and the global GDP grow. BP thinks that nearly two thirds of the increase in global energy demand is for power generation, as the world economy continues to electrify. Accordingly, there is a high probability the world oil demand will grow up to 122 million barrels while the oil price will reach 200 dollars per barrel by 2040. On the one hand the global GDP grow is a certainly positive signal, on the other hand oilmen are not able to discover new and new oil fields with huge proved reserves to cover the constantly growing world oil demand as fast as possible. BP Statistical Review of World Energy-2016 says world proved oil reserves are almost 1.7 trillion barrels. At first sight these reserves are tremendous but taking into account today’s world oil production – 92 million barrels per day – the current global proved reserves will run out as fast as after 50 years.

‘World energy demand is projected to grow by 1.3% p.a. from 2015 to 2035. Virtually all of this growth comes from emerging economies, with China and India accounting for over half the increase.’ BP says in its report.


A few main points of BP’s global oil forecast:

  • World oil production will rise to 4.768 billion t. per year in 2035 vs 4.361 billion t. per year in 2015;
  • North America and the Middle East will hold their dominant positions in oil production;
  • CIS will try to keep the oil production at some 730 million t. per year;
  • Oil production will decline in Europe to 66 million t. per year in 2035 versus 164 million t. per year in 2015.


North America will hold its dominant in gas production. BP considers North America will produce 1.33 billion t.o.e. of gas per year by 2035 what makes 31 percent share of the global gas production. North America has been keeping its dominant in gas production since 1995, by the way. Before 1995 episodically North America had been ‘overtaken’ in gas production by USSR. USSR collapsed in 1991 while the previous year – 1990 was the last year when Soviets could produce more gas than the entire North America. In 1990 USSR produced 672 million t.o.e of gas versus 584 million t.o.e produced in North America. In 1995 North America got 651.7 million t.o.e of gas while Soviets faced only 569.1 million t.o.e. North America leads in the global gas production ever since.

Gas grows faster than coal and oil, overtaking coal to become the second-largest global fuel source by 2035. Global LNG supplies grow strongly between now and 2035, led by growth in the US (19 Bcf/d) and Australia (13 Bcf/d). After a temporary lull while this initial wave of LNG supplies is absorbed, growth is assumed to resume at a more moderate pace. There is a risk that this second wave of LNG supply growth will be slow to materialize, causing a temporary period of tightness within LNG supplies. Asia remains the largest destination for LNG. China, India and other Asian countries all increase their demand for LNG, helping gas grow faster than either oil or coal in each of these economies.



Vagif Sharifov, Caspian oil and gas markets analyst based in Washington, DC. To contact the author of the story, please write to

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