The COVID-19 pandemic and a faster transition to renewable energy sources will have a permanent impact on global oil demand, Norway’s biggest independent energy consultancy Rystad predicted.
Global demand will likely peak in 2028 at 102 million barrels of oil per day (bpd), down from a pre-pandemic forecast of a peak in 2030 at 106 million bpd, Rystad Energy said.
The new prediction assumes the share of oil in various sectors of the global economy will develop in line with stated government goals to move towards a cleaner carbon future, such as in the electrification of transport, it said.
In 2020, the coronavirus will likely drive down global demand to 89.3 million bpd from 99.6 million bpd in 2019, before a partial recovery to 94.8 million bpd next year and a return to around 100 million bpd in 2023, Oslo-based Rystad said.
“The slow recovery will permanently affect global oil demand levels,” it said.
While lockdowns are stunting economic recovery in the short term, Rystad predicted, the pandemic will also leave behind a legacy of behavioural changes affecting oil use, contributing to a decline in demand by 2050 to around 62 million bpd.