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Tickers in this Article: XOM, BP, CHK, RRC, DVN
Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) recently updated its annual energy outlook, detailing the company's views on energy supply and demand through 2030. The information in the energy outlook reiterates some of the trends that have been ongoing over the last few years, and contains valuable data to help make investment decisions.

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The energy outlook from the world's largest oil company provides an excellent macro overview of the energy market, and is also important to investors because the company uses the data to guide capital investment decisions. BP (NYSE:BP) also puts out a similar publication detailing its own views on the future of energy.

Energy Outlook
Exxon Mobil expects global demand for all forms of energy in 2030 to be 35% higher than in 2005. The average 1.2% annual demand growth over that 25 year period is underpinned by average annual global population growth of 0.9% and average annual global GDP growth of 2.8 percent.

This higher demand for energy will come from countries outside of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). These emerging economies are expected to increase demand by 70% through 2030. The demand outlook assumes that energy demand in OECD countries will remain flat through 2030, as a result of improvements of energy efficiency.

Each form of energy will grow at a different rate, resulting in some major changes in the energy mix by 2030. While oil will still be the dominant source of energy, growing at 0.7% annually, demand for natural gas will be 60% higher in 2030 compared to 2005.

Natural Gas
The 2% annual growth rate for natural gas will move it ahead of coal into the second largest energy source by 2030. Exxon Mobil bases this estimate on the growing demand for natural gas for power generation in the emerging economies, and a global drive to reduce carbon emissions.

This need for natural gas is being met by a huge increase in drilling into unconventional formations in North America, led by many companies including Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK), Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) and Range Resources (NYSE:RRC). Natural gas from unconventional sources will satisfy more than 50% of United States demand by 2030, according to Exxon Mobil.

Alternative Sources
Energy from alternative sources like wind, solar and bio fuels are also expected to grow quickly through 2030. However, because of the small base that these sources started at in 2005, they will reach only 3% of the total energy mix by 2030.

Oil will remain the main source of energy in 2030, comprising 32% of the world's energy mix. Exxon Mobil estimates that global demand for liquids will rise from 84 million barrels per day in 2005 to 100 million barrels per day by 2030. This demand increase will require OPEC supply to increase from 27 million to 36 million over that time frame. Non-OPEC oil and other liquids supply is estimated to remain flat as increased production of natural gas liquids offsets declines in oil production.

Bottom Line
The Exxon Mobil Energy Outlook contains the company's estimates on supply and demand for all forms of energy through 2030. The most recent update is a good read for investors that want a macro overview of the energy market. (Find out how to take advantage of this market without having to open a futures account. See A Guide To Investing In Oil Markets.)

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