Analyst Note| Preston Caldwell |
Many investors are wondering about the future of oil demand, given discussion around achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Surprisingly, a consensus base case for oil demand doesn't exist. Other forecasters typically lean on a variety of scenarios rather than staking out a base case. Neither the typical "business-as-usual" scenario nor the typical bear scenario is a good guide for long-term oil demand. The business-as-usual scenarios reflect pessimistic attitudes when it comes to major clean technologies like electric vehicles. On the other hand, the bear scenarios reflect very rosy assumptions around the implementation and efficacy of carbon policy. Our base case is far closer to the business-as-usual scenarios for oil demand than the bearish scenarios. We project oil demand to drop from 99 mmbp/d in 2019 to 88 mmbp/d in 2050, an 11% drop or 0.4% annual decline.