Oil demand may never rebound to pre-pandemic highs as world shifts to renewables, BP says

Oil demand may never rebound to pre-pandemic highs as world shifts to renewables, BP says

• An energy outlook report published by BP on Monday suggests oil demand may never return to its 2019 peak and could halve over the next three decades.
• The oil market has failed to fully rebound through the coronavirus crisis as weakened travel activity slams consumption.
• BP laid out three scenarios in its report for how liquid fuel demand could trend through 2050.
• The firm's most bullish scenario sees consumption climbing slowly to 2030 before falling over the following two decades.
• It's most bearish hypothetical - which includes major shifts in policy and societal behavior toward renewable energy use - sees fuel consumption failing to retake its pre-pandemic high and tanking more than 60% by 2050.


The world's most traded commodity has failed to stage the same rapid rebound seen in other markets. While investors pushed stocks to record highs as the coronavirus pandemic raged, those monitoring the oil market found new signs of lasting demand weakness. Most recently, OPEC cut its 2021 demand estimate by 1.1 million barrels per day on softer consumption estimates.

BP went a step further. While many estimates see oil consumption growing for years after the coronavirus threat fades, the industry giant's best-case scenario calls for relatively stagnant demand over the next two decades before a steady decline. In its most bearish estimate, global demand will nosedive through the 2020s and halve by around 2045.

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