Slowing of oil production leads experts to predict peak oil demands

Demand is unlikely to fall sharply once oil peaks, the OIES said. (Shutterstock)
Updated 15 min 54 sec ago
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Slowing of oil production leads experts to predict peak oil demands

LONDON: The prospect that global oil demand will gradually slow and eventually peak has created a cottage industry of executives and commentators trying to predict the point at which demand will peak. 

But in a new report from the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies, seen by Arab News, the organization argues that this focus seems misplaced.  

“The date at which oil demand will stop growing is highly uncertain and small changes in assumptions can lead to vastly different estimates,” it suggested.  

More importantly, said the OIES, there is little reason to believe that once it does peak, oil demand will fall sharply. 

 

“The world is likely to demand large quantities of oil for many decades to come. Rather, the significance of peak oil is that it signals a shift in paradigm — from an age of (perceived) scarcity to an age of abundance — and with it is likely to herald a shift to a more competitive market environment.”  

This change in paradigm is expected to pose material challenges for oil-producing economies as they try both to ensure that their oil is produced and consumed, and at the same time diversify their economies.”

OIES said: “It seems likely that many low-cost producers will delay the pace at which they adopt a more competitive “higher volume, lower price” strategy until they reduce the “social costs” of oil production associated with using oil revenues to finance many other aspects of their economy, such as health-care provision or public-sector employment. 

OIES added that it was unlikely that oil prices would stabilize around a level in which many of the world’s major oil-producing economies were running large and persistent fiscal deficits.  

“As such, the average level of oil prices over the next few decades is likely to depend more on developments in the social cost of production across the major oil producing economies than on the physical cost of extraction,” said the OIES paper.

Decoder

Peak oil

This is the point, in theory, at which the maximum rate of crude extraction is reached and then goes into terminal decline.


Australia overtakes Qatar as top global LNG exporter

Updated 10 December 2018
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Australia overtakes Qatar as top global LNG exporter

  • Australia shipped 6.79 million tons of LNG in November while Qatar exported 6.2 million tons
  • Australia has invested heavily in a number of LNG export projects over the last few years

LONDON: Australia has become the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world, overtaking Qatar for the first time, according to data published on Monday.

Australia shipped 6.79 million tons of LNG in November while Qatar exported 6.2 million tons, according to Refinitiv Eikon, the financial data arm of Thomson Reuters.

While LNG exports from Australia increased by more than 15 percent from the previous month, Qatar’s exports dropped by 3 percent.

Australia has invested heavily in a number of LNG export projects over the last few years. Just last month, the first LNG shipment left the country’s new offshore Ichthys project on the northwestern coast of Australia.

Analysts expect Australia will look to maintain its lead ahead of the Qataris.

“Competition between Qatar and Australia for the share of global LNG market is set to intensify further,” said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy’s global gas analytics in London.

“Australia has boosted its market share in recent years by bringing online a slew of LNG export projects. This is in stark contrast with the situation in Qatar where the export capacity has remained around 77 million tons per annum,” he said.

Ehsan Khoman, head of regional research and strategy at MUFG, in Dubai, said Australia has an advantage over Qatar due to it being geographically closer to major gas importers.

“The lower transportation freight costs will remain the backbone of Australia comparative advantage as an exporter vis-à-vis Qatar, given the country’s closer proximity to the largest LNG importers in Asia, namely, Japan, China and South Korea,” he said.

Rising LNG exports from US will add to the global market competition, he said.

“Going forward, the LG space is likely to undergo a major transformation driven by new supplies coming from the US, with our expectation of a three-way tug of war between the US, Australia and Qatar to intensify in the medium term for global leadership among LNG exporters, notably for a larger share of the key market in Asia.”

The data follows Qatar’s announcement last week that it would leave the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) in early 2019 to focus on gas production.

Kumar said he expects Qatar to ramp up efforts to maintain its market position as competition grows from other exporters.

“Qatar has plans to vigorously defend its market share in the coming years as it is moving ahead with expanding the capacity of its Ras Laffan plant to around 110 million tons per annum by the end of 2025 or early 2026,” he said.