World Oil Outlook 2012
Executive Summary (excerpt)
This year’s World Oil Outlook (WOO) demonstrates that oil will continue to play a major role in satisfying world energy needs. It also stresses the demand uncertainties that blur the future of oil in the medium- to long-term. Five years after the onset of the financial crisis, and despite the extraordinary fiscal and monetary support, the economic recovery remains fragile, the risks stemming from the Euro-zone debt crisis appear to be heightening, economic growth in major developing countries is facing strong headwinds, and many financial institutions are under stress and in a deep process of deleveraging. World economic prospects are thus highly uncertain. Policy and technology are affecting demand for oil, in particular the transportation sector. While oil resources are recognized as amply sufficient to satisfy future needs, shale gas and tight oil are changing future prospects in the long-term. The refining system needs to go through a profound rationalization and adaptation process, given the future product mix and more stringent quality specifications. The Durban United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2011 and the Rio+20 Summit in June 2012 launched important multilateral processes, the outcome of which, although still to be agreed, will be of great significance. Geopolitical tensions add another layer of uncertainty, when looking to the future. The WOO calls for serious monitoring of future developments in the energy scene and to remain alert to various possible outcomes.