The ongoing boom in domestic oil and natural gas production will be essential for both the American and global economies over the next three decades, according to a BP's updated Energy Outlook 2035.
The outlook is designed to answer three questions: Will the world have sufficient energy to fuel continued economy growth? Will that energy be secure? And will it be sustainable?
BP found that U.S. domestic oil and gas production will be critical to all three questions.
The London-based energy company estimates that U.S. oil and natural gas production will help supply the estimated 41 percent increase in global energy consumption by 2035. About 95 percent of the growth is expected from China, India and other emerging economies.
BP projects that U.S. energy production will jump 24 percent while demand will grow by only 3 percent.
“New energy forms such as shale gas, tight oil and renewables will account for a significant share of the growth in global supply,” the report stated.
As for sustainability, the report projects that carbon dioxide emissions are expected to decline in the United States and Europe because of a combination of increased efficiency and a growing use of renewables and natural gas.
“Put simply, people are finding ways to use energy more efficiently because it saves them money,” BP Chief Economist Christof Ruhl said. “This is also good for the environment — the less energy we use, the lest carbon we emit.”
Overall, global carbon dioxide emissions are expected to jump 29 percent because of the increased use of coal and other fossil fuels in developing economies.
The forecast shows a growth in use of all fuel types over the next three decades, but the growth is not expected to be even.
The fastest growth is likely among renewables, which BP projected to grow about 6.4 percent per year. Among fossil fuels, natural gas is fastest growing at 1.9 percent per year, followed by coal at 1.1 percent and oil at 0.8 percent.
BP's estimates largely support the trends projected by other groups such as the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the International Energy Agency.
The forecasts tend to show that domestic oil and natural gas production likely will far outpace domestic energy consumption, slashing the country's reliance on energy sources outside of North America and freeing those oil and natural gas supplies to support growing demand in Asia.