The Heat Is Online

EIA: Global Oil Use Seen Soaring

Global energy demand to rise 54 percent by 2025, says U.S. EIA

Reuters News Service, April 15, 2004

WASHINGTON  World demand for all forms of energy is expected to grow by 54 percent over the next two decades, with oil consumption alone jumping by 40 million barrels a day, the U.S. government said Wednesday.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration's long-term forecast to the year 2025 projects the strongest growth in energy use from developing countries, especially China and India, where buoyant economies will boost demand.

Energy use in developing countries is forecast to soar by 91 percent over the next two decades, while rising 33 percent in industrialized nations.

"Generally, the nations of the industrialized world can be characterized as mature energy consumers with comparatively slow population growth," said the EIA, the Energy Department's analytical arm. These countries are also shifting from energy-intensive manufacturing to service industries, which means slower growth in energy use, it said.

World oil demand is forecast to rise from 81 million barrels per day (bpd) this year to 121 million bpd in 2025, with the United States, China, and the rest of developing Asia soaking up almost 60 percent of those extra barrels, EIA said.

"Over the past several decades, oil has been the world's foremost source of primary energy consumption, and it is expected to remain in that position," the agency said.

To meet that demand, global oil production capacity would have to rise by 44 million bpd over current levels, it said.

OPEC is expected to be the major supplier of the extra oil, with the cartel's production at 56 million bpd in 2025 compared to 27 million bpd this year. Additional non-OPEC barrels will also come from offshore wells in the Caspian Sea, Latin America, and West Africa.

Average annual oil prices are expected to decline after this year to $25 a barrel in inflation-adjusted 2002 dollars and then rise slowly to $27 in 2025, which would be $51 a barrel in nominal dollars, the agency said.

Other highlights of EIA long-term energy forecast include:

  • Natural gas is the fastest growing primary energy source through 2025, increasing 67 percent to 151 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) a year. That would be down from the 176 Tcf forecast in last year's report because of slower projected declines in nuclear power generation and concerns about long-term gas production.
  • World electricity demand will almost double by 2025, growing 3.5 percent a year in developing countries from newly purchased home appliances and air conditioning.


  • Coal use will grow by 1.5 percent a year, with demand increases in all regions expect for Western Europe and the former Soviet states in Eastern Europe, where coal will be displaced by natural gas.
  • Nuclear power use will increase because of higher generating capacity rates for existing plants and fewer facilities will be retired. In the developing world, consumption of electricity from nuclear power increases by an average 4.1 percent a year during the forecast period.
  • Carbon dioxide emissions will rise from 23.9 billion metric tonnes in 2001 to 27.7 billion tons in 2010 and 37.1 billion tons in 2025. The developing world will account for 61 percent of the increase because of reliance on coal and other fossil fuels.