BP's 2035 Energy Predictions Bullish On Natural Gas, Less so on Renewables

Howe Sound

By Jonny Wakefield

March 27, 2014

A new study from oil and gas giant BP predicts a rosy future for the natural gas sector and modest gains in renewable energy sources.  

BP's Outlook to 2035 report, released earlier this year, projects demand for natural gas will grow 1.9 per cent annually over the next 20 years, making it the world's fastest growing fossil fuel. By 2035, natural gas is expected to account for 31 per cent of the world's total energy supply. 

That's good news for the British Columbia government, which is a little over a year into its contentious plan to make the province a major liquefied natural gas exporter. 

The B.C. Liberals expect the province to produce more than $1 trillion in new natural gas revenues by 2046. According to a government report, there are six major proposals for natural gas development in BC. Much of that gas is slated for export to customers in Asia. According to the BP report, less developed countries are expected to drive 78 percent of growth in demand for natural gas. 

BP, once a player in the Canadian market, sold off many of its natural gas assets in British Columbia and Alberta to the Apache Corporation following the 2010 Gulf oil spill. 

The market share for other fossil fuels are expected to decrease or remain stable through 2035. Demand for coal, the world's most-used energy source, is expected to stay flat, while oil's market share is slated to shrink. 

Green energy sources are expected to make up 14 percent of the global market share, in 2035 up from its current 5 percent. Renewables, a category that includes biofuels, are expected to grow modestly in North America, to 5.2 percent of market share. BP also projects a drop of .2 percent in carbon emissions, "as the North American energy mix gradually decarbonizes."