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World oil demand growth to be led by Asia - IEA

LONDON (Reuters) - China and India will be responsible for most of the world’s oil demand growth over the next two decades, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday.

An employee fills a vehicle at a gas station in Hefei, Anhui province January 1, 2009. REUTERS/Jianan Yu/Files

The agency’s annual World Energy Outlook said if government policies stay as they are, Indian oil demand is likely to rise by 3.9 percent every year until 2030, while Chinese demand will rise by 3.5 percent annually over the same period.

This compares with just 1 percent year-on-year oil demand growth for the world as a whole. Most industrialised economies in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will see demand fall due to greater energy efficiency.

“India is going to overtake Japan by 2020 as the third largest oil and gas spender (consumer),” IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol told a news conference.

“China will overtake the United States by 2025 to become the world’s largest oil and gas spender. The top three (energy consumers) will be China, the United States and India.”

Chinese oil demand is expected to more than double to 16.3 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2030 from 7.7 million bpd in 2008, while Indian demand is seen jumping from 3 million bpd in 2008 to 6.9 million bpd in 2030.


The United States, far and away the world’s largest oil consumer, will reduce its use of oil to 17.2 million bpd in 2030 from 18.5 million bpd in 2008, the IEA said.

Global oil demand is expected to rise to 105 million bpd in 2030 from 85 million bpd in 2008.

While the United States is likely still to be the world’s largest oil consumer due to higher transportation needs, China will edge ahead in terms of its total consumption of fossil fuels due to its higher use of coal and other industrial fuels.

“China accounts for close to 65 percent of the global increase in coal use over the projection period,” the IEA said.

“Most of the rest of the growth in coal demand comes from India and other non-OECD Asian countries; coal use falls in the OECD overall, despite modest growth in North America.”

The rest of non-OECD Asia will see average oil demand growth of 1.8 percent each year until 2030.

The 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), many of which have seen rapid economic growth over the last three decades, will continue to see strong growth in energy demand.

Total oil demand in the ASEAN nations is expected to rise to 5.3 million bpd by 2030 from 3.5 million bpd.

Oil demand in the region is expected to outstrip the global average due to expectations of rapid GDP growth and current levels of low energy consumption per person.

“In 2008, the GDP of the ASEAN region approached $2.8 trillion, roughly equivalent to that of Canada and Mexico combined,” the IEA said.

“ASEAN GDP is assumed to grow at 4 percent per year from 2007 to 2015 and then 3.7 percent per year from 2015 to 2030.”

Reporting by David Sheppard; editing by Christopher Johnson