The rise in the number of electric vehicles and the switch to renewable energy sources have prompted a downward revision of forecasts for long-term oil demand from the world's largest oil and gas corporations.
While there is no consensus on when oil demand might peak, the revised projections are a boon to combat climate change and could affect oil companies' plans to explore and develop new resources.
BP predicts COVID-19 will reduce oil demand by about 3 million barrels per day by 2025 and by 2 million barrels per day by 2050, in the baseline scenario.
Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor expects global oil demand to peak around 2027-2028, two to three years earlier than the company previously predicted.
Equinor expects oil demand to reach 99.5 million barrels per day in 2030 and drop to 84 million barrels per day in 2050, in line with its central scenario, dubbed Reform.
Bernstein Energy analysts say that IMF forecasts for GDP growth mean that by 2023 global oil demand will again reach the level of 2019 at about 100 million barrels per day, and then stabilize soon.
The largest Norwegian independent energy consultancy Rystad Energy expects global oil demand to peak at 102 bpd in 2028, lower than the previous forecast of just over 106 million bpd in 2030.
The Paris-based International Energy Agency said peak oil demand has already become a reality in advanced economies, but it is offset by 9 million barrels per day growth in developing countries from 2019 to 2030. p>
Growth in electric vehicle production, renewable energy and plastics processing will reduce oil demand, Goldman Sachs said, but growth in developing countries will peak after 2030.
In its first-ever forecast of a peak in global oil demand, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said that demand will recover over the next two years, but will stabilize by 2040.
Royal Dutch Shell refrained from making any predictions, but CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters this year that the pandemic may have already triggered a peak in demand.
“It will take a long time for demand to recover, if it does recover at all,” said van Beerden.
“Demand for energy and some mobility will be lower even when this crisis is more or less behind us. Will this mean that he will never recover? It is probably too early to say, but the market will remain under attack for many years, ”he added.