World energy consumption is projected to grow by 44 % between 2006 and 2030, driven by strong long-term economic growth in the developing nations of the world, according to a recent study by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy.
The current global economic downturn will dampen world energy demand in the near term, as manufacturing and consumer demand for goods and services slows, EIA projects. However, with economic recovery anticipated to begin within the next 12 to 24 months, most nations are expected to see energy consumption growth at rates anticipated prior to the recession. Total world energy use rises from 472 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2006 to 552 quadrillion Btu in 2015 and then to 678 quadrillion Btu in 2030.
World oil prices have fallen sharply from their July 2008 high mark. As the world's economies recover, higher world oil prices are assumed to return and to persist through 2030. In the IEO2009 reference case, world oil prices rise to $110 per barrel in 2015 (in real 2007 dollars) and $130 per barrel in 2030. Total liquid fuels and other petroleum consumption in 2030 is projected to be 22 million barrels per day higher than the 2006 level of 85 million barrels per day. In the reference case, conventional oil supplies from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) contribute 8.2 million barrels per day to the total increase in world liquid fuels production, and conventional supplies from non-OPEC countries add another 3.4 million barrels per day.
In addition, unconventional resources (including biofuels, oil sands, extra-heavy oil, coal-to-liquids, and gas-to-liquids) from both non-OPEC and OPEC sources are expected to become increasingly competitive in the reference case. World production of unconventional resources, which totaled 3.1 million barrels per day in 2006, increases to 13.4 million barres per day in 2030 in the reference case, accounting for 13 percent of total world liquids supply in 2030.