Thursday, January 1, 2015

Forecast for Energy in 2015

Reproducing the Energy outlook from The World in 2015 by the Economist below.  This will be one I will follow closely to see if reality will match the Economist's predictions.

Interesting to note below is how China continues to focus on nuclear.

"As the global economy ticks up in 2015, overall energy consumption will climb by about 3%, outpacing crude-oil demand, which will creep up by 2%, to 94m barrels a day. After years of splurging, most Western super-majors are aiming for better returns on smaller investments—though Chevron will outspend its far bigger rival, Exxon Mobil, investing $40bn. Big Oil’s success will depend partly on riding the boom in oil caught in American shale rock. Thanks to that, global supplies look very comfortable and the average annual oil price will fall, geopolitical ructions notwithstanding.

A parallel shale-gas “revolution” will spawn a batch of American plants for exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG): the first, Sabine Pass in Louisiana, should start up in 2015. Import terminals in Poland and Lithuania will also begin operations as eastern Europe seeks to slip the yoke of Russian supply.

Strong Asian demand, above all, will help gas producers, as dirty coal loses share to somewhat cleaner gas. China’s attempts to tap its own, vast shale-gas reserves will be hampered by geological barriers and technological shortcomings; the country will speed up in pursuit of a 2015 production target of 6.5bn cubic metres—though to just a fraction of American levels. Given its energy-supply shortfall, Chinese reactor-building will proceed: its first “third generation” AP1000 nuclear plant could clear safety checks by late 2015. Controversially, Japan’s own reactors are also set to start returning to life.

To watch: Sea change. Shipping hasn’t attracted nearly the attention motor vehicles have from proponents of pollution abatement. No longer. From January 1st 2015, sulphur standards affecting ships along European and North American coastlines will tighten considerably. Maritime companies will demand less high-sulphur fuel oil and more gas oil. Eventually, vessels burning LNG could become popular.

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