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EXXONMOBIL TAKE ON GLOBAL ENERGY OUTLOOK

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMAN
Published: Dec 10, 2014 at 10:02 am EST

Exxon Mobil Corporation(NYSE:XOM) revealed its annual energy outlook yesterday and maintained its stance despite the fact that crude price has declined 40% since its peak in late-June. This has resulted in energy companies slashing down their capital spending plans and slowing down growth in production. Furthermore, countries that have heavily relied on revenue generated by exporting crude oil have also come under immense pressure due to significant decline in proceeds generated from the exports.

In its annual review of the energy sector, Exxon Mobil reiterated its anticipation for energy demand to increase 30% in the next 25 years as a result of growth in population by two billion, with a substantial rise in the white-collar class around the world as they consume a high amount of energy for their cars and motor vehicles. Moreover, demand is expected to be driven by the growth in emerging economies.

The company expects crude oil demand to rise to 115 million barrels per day (bpd) opposed to 89 million bpd at the end of 2013. The oil giant foresees 65% of global crude demand to be fulfilled by conventional crude oil and natural gas sources, compared to 60% last year. The revised estimate reflects that Exxon Mobil expects a slowdown in the penetration of alternative and renewable energy sources, most primarily as a result of recent plunge in crude oil price. Exxon reiterated that it foresees natural gas to experience the fastest rate of growth amongst conventional energy sources, and nuclear energy to grow the fastest amongst renewable energy sources.

Moreover, Asia is expected to become the largest importer of natural gasglobally and overtake Europe in the process, as the region is expected to see its demand grow three times and expects supply to double. Meanwhile, Exxon expects North America to become a net exporter of liquids by the end of this decade due to higher production of bitumen from oil sands and natural gas liquids from Mexico, Canada, and the US, combined with sluggish demand in the region. Exxon believes that the embargo on export of crude oil from the US should be lifted in the next few years so that the North American region does not experience a slowdown in production.

Exxon’s annual outlook has come at a time when crude oil futures recently hit a new five-year low as a result of an oversupply from the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the US. Furthermore, demand signals have been weak, which has caused crude oil to plunge drastically.

The world’s largest publicly-traded energy company expects renewable energy forms like biofuel, solar, and wind to grow at an average rate of 6% till 2040, and expects renewable sources to fulfill only 4% of global energy demand. Exxon has also reduced the importance of coal, which is expected to be taken over by natural gas. The company foresees growth in demand of coal until 2025 only. After that, demand is expected to fall as growth in Chinese economy is likely to slow down.

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