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The Use Of Plastics Will Drive The Growth Of Oil Demand By 2050
- Jan 08, 2019 -

January 4, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that the growing demand for plastics and other petrochemical products will offset the slowdown in automobile fuel consumption, thus driving global oil demand to maintain growth by 2050.

Despite efforts by governments around the world to reduce pollution and carbon emissions from oil and gas, the Paris-based IEA expects rapid growth in emerging economies such as India and China to boost demand for petrochemical products.

The IEA said in a report that demand for oil from transportation would slow by 2050 due to the increase in electric vehicles and more efficient internal combustion engines, but strong growth in demand for oil from petrochemical products would offset that.

"The petrochemical industry is one of the blind spots in the global energy debate and will undoubtedly be a key driver of oil demand growth for many years to come," IEA Administrator Bilol told Reuters.

According to the IEA, petrochemical products will account for more than one third of global oil demand growth by 2030 and nearly half by 2050.

In 2017, global demand for petrochemical raw materials reached 12 million barrels per day, accounting for about 12% of global oil demand by 2017. This figure is expected to grow to nearly 18 million barrels per day by 2050.

Most of the increase in oil demand in the global petrochemical industry by 2050 will occur in the Middle East and China, where a large number of petrochemical plants are being built.

Oil companies like ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell plan to invest in new petrochemical plants in the coming decades, betting on rising demand for plastics in emerging economies.

In the Middle East, major oil producers such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are also investing in large petrochemical plants because they want to earn more money by converting crude oil directly into plastics rather than petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel, Birol said.