Apr 15, 2024 - Energy & Environment

The IEA is sticking to its guns on peak oil demand

Oil demand growth
Data: IEA; Chart: Alice Feng/Axios

The International Energy Agency is offering fresh evidence for its estimate that global demand will peak this decade.

Why it matters: The future of oil carries huge stakes for producing economic growth, powering clean tech firms, and protecting the planet.

The big picture: Steep demand growth as nations emerged from COVID has run its course, IEA's Toril Bosoni and Ciarán Healy write.

  • They also see China's outsized role in boosting petro-thirst over the last decade easing.
  • IEA projects slower economic growth there in 2024 and 2025, and fast Chinese uptake of electric vehicles and other tech that displaces demand.
  • And IEA sees other "structural" reasons for slowing demand growth post-2025, such as Middle East countries using less oil for electricity.

Reality check: Absent stronger climate policies and investment, the post-peak decline will be very gradual, they write.

  • And views about crude's trajectory are hardly uniform.
  • For instance, a new report from analytics firm Enverus sees no peak or even plateau this decade but does project slowing growth after 2030.
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