BP’s Annual Energy Outlook Through 2035 – Fool’s Errand?

Yesterday BP, a huge driller with a sizable acreage position in the Utica Shale (84,000 leased acres), issued its annual BP Energy Outlook 2035 (full copy embedded below). The 96-page report sets out BP’s view of the most likely developments in global energy markets to 2035, based on up-to-date analyses. BP experts expect global energy demand to rise 41% from now until 2035 with 95% of that growth coming from “emerging economies.” According to BP, gas as a source of energy is growing fastest among the fossil fuels and by 2035 gas is expected to be at parity with coal–each providing about 27% of power needs in 2035. BP says shale gas will make up 68% of U.S. gas production by 2035.

Of course, all of this speculation is fun to read, but frankly is just so much folly. MDN editor Jim Willis heard Charif Souki, CEO of Cheniere Energy address the predictions game at the Platts Global Energy Forum in New York City last December (see Energy Industry Leaders Gather at Platts Forum in NYC). At that forum, Souki said any kind of prediction beyond 2-3 years in the rapidly changing energy industry is meaningless. He said if you go back 20 years and look at those predictions about today, none of them predicted shale and how the industry would change so dramatically. We concur with Souki–making these kinds of predictions is a fool’s errand. Still, it’s fun to read and muse about what might be…

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