Environment

Nov 14, 2012

In a global energy glut, what next for emissions?

Thanks to a boom in oil and gas from shale by around 2020, the United States is projected to become the largest global oil producer. That's concerning for the environment.

The International Energy Agency has released its projection of the potential future picture of the energy sector. If you worry about having enough oil and gas to go round then the picture is pretty rosy; if you worry about the environment it's extremely concerning. Thanks to a boom in oil and gas from shale by around 2020, the United States is projected to become the largest global oil producer (overtaking Saudi Arabia until the mid-2020s). In addition, because the US is implementing quite stringent fuel economy regulatory standards, there is a continued fall in US oil imports to the extent that in conjunction with Canada's oil sands, North America becomes a net oil exporter around 2030. The chart from the IEA report illustrates US current net oil imports at about 9.5 million barrels per day (red dashed line). This then declines, due firstly to increased oil supply up to 2016 but from thereafter improved vehicle fuel efficiency (yellow area) becomes increasingly important, with biofuels and natural gas also playing a more minor role.

United States -- causes of reduction in net oil imports 

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2 comments

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2 thoughts on “In a global energy glut, what next for emissions?

  1. Karey

    Gail Tverberg draws on a recent IMF report (The Future of Oil: Geology versus Technology at http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2012/wp12109.pdf ) to explain why the IEA report uncritically referred to in this article includes both ‘unrealistically high forecasts’ of oil supply, and unrealistically low forecasts of oil prices. (http://www.businessinsider.com/iea-oil-forecast-unrealistically-high-misses-diminishing-returns-2012-11) The IMF report says prices will need to double in real terms to get even a very small increase in supply.

  2. Limited News

    Groan… please don’t take IEA projections seriously. I don’t have time to explain right now though.

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