In its recently published 2023 World Oil Outlook, OPEC has raised its prediction for the global demand for oil in 2045 from 110 million bpd (barrels per day) to 116 million bpd.
This contrasts with the IEA (International Energy Agency)’s prediction that the era of fossil fuels was at “the beginning of the end”.
OPEC’s prediction is a large jump from the 99.6 million bpd consumed on average last year in the world. OPEC believes that growth will be driven by increased consumption in Africa, China, the Middle East, India and other countries in Asia, and it clearly states that its estimates could possibly increase again in future.
The increased demand would mean national oil producers and multinational oil companies like BP, the maker of the Castrol coolant and lubricant range, will need to invest in growing production to avoid an energy crunch.
OPEC estimates that some $610 billion of investment will be needed on average every year in the industry to keep pace with growing demand.
Haitham al-Ghais, the Secretary General of OPEC, warned in the report’s foreword about failing to make this investment:
“Calls to stop investments in new oil projects are misguided and could lead to energy and economic chaos. History is replete with numerous examples of turmoil that should serve as a warning for what occurs when policymakers fail to acknowledge energy’s interwoven complexities.”
The report also said that in the medium term, OPEC expects demand to reach 110.2 million bpd in 2028, a jump of more than 10% on last year’s level.