The growth in demand will largely come from outside the Western developed economies. And even with renewable sources such as biofuels growing at eight per cent a year, their impact on overall consumption will remain limited, the document claims.
However, the exploitation of shale oil and gas, and deepwater fields, will render Western countries largely self-sufficient in energy, while the Middle East will increasingly supply the developing world instead.
Meanwhile, wholesale gas prices hit a six-year high last week, as the cold snap across Europe drove up consumption. Gas has been trading at 79p per therm.