Oil in time | FT Alphaville

Oil in time

A chart from a presentation last week by Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA):

The hat tip goes to John Kemp, Reuters analyst and FT Alphaville’s energy guru of choice, who offers some detail and commentary (our emphasis)…

U.S. oil imports are set to almost halve between 2000 and 2035 owing to rising domestic output from both conventional and shale fields, increased ethanol blending and improvements in vehicle efficiency. By 2035, the United States will be importing just 6 million barrels of oil per day (b/d), down from almost 11 million b/d in 2000.

In contrast, China’s oil imports are set to surge from around 1 million b/d to more than 12 million by the end of the period. India’s import needs will soar from less than 2 million b/d to around 7 million. Members of ASEAN will be importing almost 4 million b/d.

China will overtake the United States as the world’s largest oil importer by around 2020, according to the IEA, with other Asian customers adding to regional import needs.

China relies on the Middle East and North Africa for almost half its oil imports, in contrast to the United States, which sources most crude and condensate from other countries in the western hemisphere, with extra supplies from West Africa.

In other words, expect increasing strategic involvement in the region from China over time — bigger navy, more aggressive diplomacy of the kind we’ve seen lately, etc. (Though there just might be signs that China is ‘clarifying’ its claims over the South China Sea region.)

It’s obviously impossible to predict how the world will evolve over a 23-year period but, epochal shifts notwithstanding, the chart does offer a provocative look at the direction it’s headed in now.

Additional reporting by Joseph Cotterill

Related links:
World’s changed, man! – FT Alphaville
A picture tells a thousand words, Chinese steel edition – FT Alphaville