Positioning for a Lower-Carbon Energy Future
Our annual Outlook for Energy incorporates recent developments in economic conditions, policy, and
The Outlook anticipates global energy needs will rise about 25 percent over the period to 2040, led by
non-OECD countries. While the mix shifts toward lowercarbon-intensive fuels, the world will need to pursue all
economic energy sources.
• Worldwide electricity from solar and wind will increase about 400 percent
• Natural gas will expand its role, led by growth for electricity generation
• Growth in oil demand will be driven by commercial transportation and the chemical industry, while more electric cars and efficiency improvements in conventional cars will likely lead to a peak in liquid fuels demand for the light-duty vehicle fleet
• Efficiency gains and growing use of less-carbonintensive energy sources will contribute to a nearly 45 percent decline in the carbon intensity of global GDP
This year’s Outlook also includes sensitivities to provide greater perspective on the energy landscape. For
example, greater penetration of electric vehicles (EV) and/or wind/solar deployment beyond our base Outlook
assumptions could slow the growth in oil and natural gas demand, respectively.
Relative to our Outlook, a theoretical 2°C pathway would generally lower the world’s demand for total
energy, oil, natural gas and coal, but increase nuclear, bioenergy, and non-bio renewables.
• Signposts in the energy system will provide important indicators on whether society is moving toward a 2°C pathway
• Even under a 2°C pathway, significant investment will be required in oil and natural gas capacity, as well as other energy sources
• Production from our proved reserves and investment in our resources continue to be needed to meet global requirements
Our businesses are well positioned for the continuing evolution of the energy system.
Near-term actions, consistent with society’s energy requirements and environmental objectives, include:
• Expanding the supply of cleaner-burning natural gas
• Transitioning our manufacturing facilities to highervalue distillates, lubricants, and chemical feedstock
• Mitigating emissions from our own facilities through energy efficiency and reduced flaring, venting, and
• Developing consumer products that help others reduce their emissions, such as premium lubricants, lightweight plastics, and special tire liners
• Engaging on climate policy to address the risks of climate change at the lowest cost to society
Importantly, on a longer-term horizon, we are pursuing technologies to enhance existing operations and develop
alternative energies with a lower carbon intensity, including:
• Researching breakthroughs that make CCS technology more economic for power generation and industrial
• Developing process intensification technologies to reduce energy requirements of manufacturing facilities
• Progressing advanced biofuels for commercial transportation and petrochemicals