Oil Industry Anticipates Day of Reckoning

Prospect of ‘peak demand’ prompts debate and long-term planning by global producers

 .. The Hungarian company is rethinking its traditional focus on fuel supply and shifting investment to petrochemicals, the key ingredient of everyday plastic products and a sector where MOL believes growth will continue even when its fuel business falters.
..  But that picture shifts radically if governments take further action to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius with more stringent policies like carbon pricing, strict emissions limits and the removal of fossil-fuel subsidies. If that happens, oil demand could peak within the next 10 years, the IEA says.
.. BP says oil demand could fall by the late 2020s if tougher emissions laws are enacted.
.. Others don’t see peak demand coming so quickly. Exxon expects consumption to grow through 2040, though at a decelerating pace. Likewise, OPEC sees demand continuing to grow beyond 2040, but acknowledges new technologies and efforts to curb climate change could mean consumption peaks within the next three decades.
.. Peak demand “will be later than the common dates that are being thrown around, but if it does happen, because we’re building multiple engines for the economy and we’re planning for an economy beyond oil, we’ll be ready,” Saudi Arabia’s energy minister,Khalid al Falih, told a conference in Istanbul last month.
.. Shell, Exxon and others are pouring money into natural gas—a less-carbon-intensive fossil fuel they bet will benefit from efforts to curb global emissions. In China, where growing oil demand has supported global markets for years, the state-owned energy giants are aggressively embracing natural gas as a fuel for use in everything from power generation to running cars.

.. France’s Total SA has said it wants 20% of its portfolio to consist of low-carbon businesses within the next 20 years.