Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world’s second-biggest energy company by market value, thinks demand for oil could peak in as little as five years, a rare statement in an industry that commonly forecasts decades of growth.
“We’ve long been of the opinion that demand will peak before supply,” Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said on a conference call on Tuesday. “And that peak may be somewhere between 5 and 15 years hence, and it will be driven by efficiency and substitution, more than offsetting the new demand for transport.”
Exxon and Saudi Arabia disagree and think oil demand will keep rising.
If renewable energy and other disruptive technologies such as electric cars continue their rapid advance, petroleum use will reach its maximum level in 2030, the World Energy Council has forecast. Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, predicts a peak in 2025 and decline in the 2030s.
Shell is seeing a world oil demand peak coming more strongly than the lowest demand World Energy Council forecast
Shell will be in business for “many decades to come” because it is focusing more on natural gas and expanding its new-energy businesses including biofuels and hydrogen