Exxon Mobil's Energy Outlook Touts Oil, But Biomass and Nuclear Are Also Key – Part Two

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Continued from Part One.

Source: Exxon Mobil

As the graph above shows, the firm predicts oil will continue to be the largest energy source, suggesting they do not expect electric cars to replace the internal combustion engine by 2040. Nor, to the disappointment of The Greens, do they appear to think wind and solar will become major sources of energy; despite predicting a 900 percent increase in energy generation over the period, they will still represent a small part of the whole.

Ironically, biomass, an important source of energy in underdeveloped countries in the form of wood and dung, will become less important there as electricity and oil take over. Nonetheless, they will rise slightly with subsidy support in developed markets, as recycled biomass fuels such as wood chips, sugar cane waste and so on catch on.

Despite Fukushima, nuclear is expected to continue to grow, particularly in emerging markets such as China, India and other parts of Asia. For the next ten years or so, the billions that mining companies are pouring into coal investments will continue to pay off with rising demand. Indeed, in emerging markets like China and India, new coal plants continue to be built and have an expected life of some 30 years. Relatively speaking, however, the greatest investment will be in drilling and exploitation of natural gas and, where appropriate, LNG. This will be a major market for stainless steel, nickel alloy and aluminum producers supplying tubular and plate products for drilling, processing, transportation and storage.

Exploration and production will have to take place in increasingly inhospitable regions such as the Arctic and in deep water, challenging metals producers to develop materials that can operate reliably in these environments.

–Stuart Burns

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