During the past decade, the gap between domestic crude oil production and the consumption of refined products has increased significantly in key North American and Asian/Far East markets, increasing the dependence of these markets upon imported crude oil. In North America and Asia/Far East, this trend is expected to continue during the next decade. The North America and Asia/Far East regions currently import approximately 65% of their crude oil. Western Europe has reduced the gap between domestic crude oil production and consumption of refined products during the past decade, but still imports approximately 55% of its crude oil.
The high dependence upon imported oil in North America and Asia/Far East, coupled with increasing environmental concerns, may generate fundamental changes in these key consuming markets and the associated global energy markets:
Consuming energy markets may seek to diversify imported energy sources as OPEC's share of the remaining oil reserve base increases.
Consuming energy markets may increase dependence upon domestic and imported natural gas as an energy source.
Governments may increase pressure on utilities, engine manufacturers, and refiners to improve fuel efficiencies and reduce emissions.
Consuming energy markets may begin substituting refined product imports for crude oil imports, if refinery capacity is limited by environmental legislation within expanding markets.
Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) technologies are well positioned to benefit from these potential market changes. GTL provides premium, environmentally friendly fuels for transportation markets and LNG provides clean-burning fuels for utility and major industrial markets. Both GTL and LNG products compete against conventional refined products, but each targets different fuel markets. While GTL and LNG may compete for gas resources, both technologies have similar fiscal and regulatory drivers in the market and at site locations, which is likely to foster a synergistic working relationship between these two technologies.
"I never think of the future, it comes soon enough." Albert Einstein Einstein's convenient approach to the future is a luxury denied to Governments and energy companies. Economic development is occurring on a global scale and with it there is increasing demand for energy. This coupled with ever more complex international relationships and interdependence means that governments must understand the probable trends and drivers of future energy use and act on the implications.
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During the past decade, the gap between domestic crude oil production and the consumption of refined products has increased significantly in key North American and Asian/Far East