BP Energy Outlook: Shale gas to double its share of the market by 2035

BP British Petroleum, Gas Station
BP British Petroleum, Gas Station 8/2014 Guilford, CT by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube

By the year 2035 shale gas will expand outside of North America, most notably in Asia Pacific and particularly in China, where shale gas production will reach 13 Bcf/d by 2035 – according to the most recent edition of BP Energy Outlook. The Energy Outlook considers a base case, which outlines the “most likely” path for energy demand based on assumptions about future changes in policy, technology and the economy.

Global tight oil production will increase by 5.7 Mb/d between 2014 and 2035 to around 10 Mb/d. Despite this sizeable growth, tight oil will account for less than 10 percent of all liquids production in 2035. After surpassing its 2030 goal of 3.6 million barrels a day in 2014, US tight oil is now expected to plateau in the 2030s at nearly 8 Mb/d, accounting for almost 40 percent of total US oil production. The slowdown in the growth of American tight oil will be the result of the constricting resource base. North American production is expected to grow by 2.5 Mb/d between 2015 and 2025, and by just 1 Mb/d between 2025-2035, compared with 4.5 Mb/d during the past 10 years.

Meanwhile, almost half (0.9 Mb/d) of the increase in tight oil production during that time is from outside of North America – predominantly China and Argentina.

US shale gas is now expected to grow by around 4 percent per annum between 2014 and 2035 in which year it is expected to account for around three-quarters of total US gas production, almost 20 percent of global output.

Globally, shale gas is expected to grow by 5.6 percent per annum between 2014 and 2035, well in excess of the growth of total gas production. As a result, the share of shale gas in global gas production will more than double from 11 percent in 2014 to 24 percent by 2035.

The report also explores an alternative scenario where global supplies of tight oil and shale gas are much greater than in the base case. In this event, shale gas production is expected to be around 76 Bcf/d higher by 2035, with shale gas accounting for more than a third of global gas supplies.

Global tight oil output would increase to 20 Mb/d by 2035, twice its level in the base case, with its share of total liquids output reaching 18 percent.

In general, BP Energy Outlook predicts fossil fuels to remain a dominant form of energy powering the global expansion: providing around 60 percent of the additional energy and accounting for almost 80 percent of total energy supplies in 2035. There would be a rapid growth in renewable technologies and natural gas at the expense of coal. After gaining share since 2000, the growth of coal is projected to slow sharply at (0.5 percent per annum), compared with almost 3 percent per annum over the past 20 years, such that by 2035 the share of coal in primary energy is at an all-time low, with gas replacing it as the second-largest fuel source.

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