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OPEC's headquarters in Vienna. Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

OPEC's latest long-term forecast sees global oil demand rising through at least 2040, effectively rebuffing analyses released since last year's edition that project an earlier peak in the world's crude thirst.

Why it matters: The timing of the eventual peak in crude oil demand is relevant to the long-term planning of oil producers and companies — not to mention the trajectory of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

By the numbers: The cartel's 2018 World Oil Outlook released Sunday sees global demand growing to reach 111.7 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2040, which is actually a tad higher than last year's 2040 projection of 111.1 million bpd.

The intrigue: The report underscores the lack of consensus on when the world's demand for oil — which is currently around 99 million bpd and rising — will eventually crest.

  • The International Energy Agency, like OPEC, also sees global crude demand growing through at least 2040 (the final year of their forecast period).
  • But a recent analysis by the energy-focused risk advisory firm DNV GL projects a peak in 2023.
  • Royal Dutch Shell, with several caveats, has said a peak could occur by the late 2020s.
  • The central scenario in BP's long-term outlook released in February said a peak could arrive as soon as the mid-2030s.
  • The middle scenario in Norwegian energy giant Equinor's latest collection of outlooks, released in June, sees a peak around 2030.

What's next: In the nearer-term, the report sees demand for OPEC crude declining for several years after 2020, thanks to surging output from the U.S. shale boom and some other sources.

  • However, the report sees the U.S. boom peaking in the late 2020s. "Demand for OPEC crude only returns to 2017 levels by the late 2020s, when US tight oil peaks, and rises steadily thereafter," the report notes.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Google is investigating the actions of another top AI ethicist

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is investigating recent actions by Margaret Mitchell, who helps lead the company's ethical AI team, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The probe follows the forced exit of Timnit Gebru, a prominent researcher also on the AI ethics team at Google whose ouster ignited a firestorm among Google employees.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.