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BP Sees Emissions Rising Through 2040, Oil Demand Peaking at 110 Million Barrels Per Day

BP is predicting that global oil demand will hit a peak of 110 million barrels of oil per day between 2035 and 2040, compared to today’s total of about 97 million barrels, before the rise of shared and autonomous electric vehicles begins driving consumption down.

While the “Evolving Transition” scenario in BP’s annual Energy Outlook represents the first time the UK-based colossal fossil has suggested a peak for global oil production, it still shows the world falling short of the targets in the Paris agreement, and greenhouse gas emissions continuing to rise through 2040, “signaling the need for a comprehensive set of actions to achieve a decisive break from the past.”

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Overall, EcoWatch states, “BP expects carbon emissions to rise 10% by 2040—which would fail the emissions pledges made in Paris. The company suggests that reducing oil output to 85 million barrels per day would satisfy the goals of the global climate accord.”

Greentech Media notes that the “Evolving Transition” scenario “assumes that policies and technology continue to evolve at a speed similar to that seen in recent past”. On that basis, it projects much faster EV adoption than last year’s version of the same report, but still shows insufficient progress toward climate stabilization. “If world leaders choose to take a different tack, the outcome could look very different,” writes Greentech Senior Editor Julia Pyper.

But based on an extrapolation of trends to date, “the suggestion that rapid growth in electric cars will cause oil demand to collapse just isn’t supported by the basic numbers—even with really rapid growth,” BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale told The Telegraph. “Even in the scenario where we see an [internal combustion engines] ban and very high efficiency standards, oil demand is still higher in 2040 than it is today.” The 320 million EVs in use by that year would only make up 15% of the projected two billion passenger vehicles on the road, nearly a doubling from today’s global fleet.

While greenhouse gas emissions have begun to stabilize in recent years due to political and technological change, “this slowing falls well short of the sharp drop in carbon emissions thought necessary to achieve the Paris climate goals,” added BP CEO Bob Dudley. BP sees renewable energy growing five-fold by 2040, but still accounting for only 14% of the world’s primary energy consumption.

“In a divergence from previous reports, BP examined vehicle kilometres traveled while powered by electricity to account for the combined impact of vehicle electrification, shared mobility, and autonomous driving,” Greentech reports. “Because they’re used with much higher intensity, EVs will account for 30% of passenger vehicle kilometres by 2040, up from just 2% in 2016.” Due to shared vehicle options, Dale said, the average EV will be driven about 2.5 times more than an internal combustion engine vehicle.

“By the end of the forecast period in the Energy Outlook, these changes will actually begin to make a dent in oil use. Liquid fuel demand from the car fleet is forecast to hit to 18.6 million barrels per day in 2040, down slightly from 18.7 million barrels per day in 2016.” Greentech states. But “oil will continue to dominate across all segments of the transportation sector through 2040, despite the rise of alternatives.”

Efficiency gains in passenger and freight transportation hold the increase in transportation energy use in BP’s scenario to 25%, compared to 80% over the last quarter-century. The company also notes that curbs on petrochemical products, especially single-use plastics, could cut oil demand by up to two million barrels per day.

While BP projects far faster adoption of solar electricity than it did as recently as 2015, it concludes that “coal will remain king” in the power sector. “Coal accounts for just 13% of the increase in power over the forecast period compared to more than 40% over the previous 25 years,” Greentech notes. “Even so, it remains the largest source of energy for power generation in 2040, with a share of almost 30%.”

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1 Comment To "BP Sees Emissions Rising Through 2040, Oil Demand Peaking at 110 Million Barrels Per Day"

#1 Comment By René Ebacher On March 1, 2018 @ 6:45 PM

” GM and its Detroit rivals, Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, are bringing on new trucks at a time when overall U.S. new vehicle sales have been falling, but truck sales continue to grow as consumers abandon passenger cars in favour of pickup, SUVs and crossovers.
President Dan Amman said GM’s new line of pickups should generate improved profit from increased production of higher-priced, four-door crew cab trucks, and expanded sales of luxury trucks models.”
(source: Globe and Mail, January 17, 2018: “GM shares increase on predictions of muted 2018 followed by rebound in 2019”)
In Canada, between 1990 and 2014, GHG emissions from the transportation sector, the second largest emitter after the oil and gas industry, grow at an average annual rate of 1.1% per year. In 2014, emissions from the transportation sector were 171 Mt (megaton of CO2 equivalent), roughly 23% of total Canadian GHG emissions.
The largest source of transportation emissions was from passenger transportation, including passenger cars, light trucks, aviation, bus, rail, and motorcycle. In 2014, passenger transportation accounted for 55% of total GHG emissions from the transportation sector, or 95 Mt. Emissions from passenger aviation, bus, rail, and motorcycle have remained largely flat at 9 Mt from 1990 to 2014. Despite “improved fuel efficiency and emissions standards ” in most vehicles , the growing trend of “consumer preferences” for SUVs and light trucks has resulted inGHG emissions from light trucks more than doubling, from 22 Mt in1990 to 50 Mt in 2014, which has more than offset reductions in passenger car emissions from 52 Mt in 1990 to 36 Mt in 2014.
(source: National Energy Board, 2016-07-14 : “Market Snapshot: Increased GHG emissions from the transportation sector reflect major consumer and business trends”)
Unfortunately, that trend is still going on. Consumers share a lot of responsibility in that growing trend, and as long as people continue to take irresponsible decisions, emissions will continue to grow; and as long as our governments don’t take drastic actions to stop that trend, the oil industry and car manufacturers will continue to enjoy more profits. They are just providing goods that people want.