Gas and oil will continue to grow at different rates in the next five years, according to the International Energy Agency’s Medium-Term Oil and Gas Markets 2011 report.
The energy body predicts that growth in oil supply capacity through 2016 could average 1.2 million barrels a day per year, while natural gas demand could rocket by around 500 billion cubic meters – around 2.5 times Russia’s current gas exports – in the same time.
Nobuo Tanaka, the IEA’s Executive Director said: “This report shows that oil’s twilight as an industrial fuel continues, and it becomes ever more concentrated in the transport and petrochemical sectors.”
In contrast, global trade in gas expands rapidly as more countries become gas importers.
Mr Tanaka added: “Gas on the other hand continues to increase in power generation as well as industry and space heating. In terms of market structure and pricing, oil is a genuinely global commodity, while gas markets, although globalising, remain bound by some key regional constraints, not least in terms of transportation.”
The report, launched at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, projects that China will emerge as one of the biggest importers of pipeline gas, while Australia could rival Qatar as a leading LNG exporter.
Growth in the oil sector could see Iraq, UAE and Angola lead the OPEC pack, while Brazil, Canada, Kazakhstan and Columbia could head up non-OPEC increases.