Global energy market: present trends and future prospects

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altWorld Energy
Over the last decade in the development of world energy important trends which in uncontrolled fow would threaten stability of this area were revealed. These trends in¬clude:

•    changing relationship between consum¬ers and producers, increasing competition for the limited energy resources;
•    high rates of energy consumption growth and change of its regional proportions;
•    high proportion and growing volumes of consumption of fossil fuels;
•    slowing down of energy supply growth rates ;
•    problems of providing investments to the development of energy sector;
•    change of the energy supply structure and enhancing the role of individual suppli¬ers;
•    rise in energy prices and their volatility;
•    increasing of tension in providing energy needs of transport and disproportions in the oil refning;
•  growth of volumes of international energy trading, development of infrastructure  component of the energy supply and exac¬erbation of risk; • strengthening of political risks, including transit ones The current situation in the global energy sector is characterized by the intensifca-tion of the contradictions between the ma¬jor players in international energy markets. The practice of relationships between pro-ducers and consumers, developed in the late XX century, rooted in the past. A work of existing regulatory mechanisms of the world energy market becomes unusable, increased competition among consumers, fueled by the advent of powerful market players, like Chi¬na and India is becoming evident. While the main consumers of energy re-sources are highly developed powers and developing countries in Asia, most of the world's hydrocarbon reserves are concen¬trated in relatively small group of develop¬ing countries and states with economies in transition. Such large-scale consumers like the U.S., EU and China are focusing their economic as well as political resources for expansion in the same markets, which leads to increase of competition.

New trends
However, the dynamics of world energy consumption demonstrates that from 1990 up to the events in Japan in spring, 2011 under the infuence of various factors in the energy market tendencies gradual changes in the role of traditional energy sources - oil, gas, coal and etc. became apparent.

These are:

•    sharp rise in world total energy consumption caused by the rapid growth of China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Brazil and, consequently, by increased use of various fuels;
•    increase of coal's share in world consumption from 27.4% to 29.6%, due to its widespread use as the cheapest and the most accessible fuel in rapidly growing economies of China and India;
•    continued domination of oil as traditional energy resource due to sharp rise of its consumption by the economics of China and India;
•    reducing of consumption of oil and gas in the developed countries due to improving energy effciency;
•    gradual and steady growth of “blue fuel” consumption under the infuence of environmental factors in the developed and rapidly developing countries - China, India, Brazil;
•    reducing of the use of nuclear energy in Europe, as well as increase in consumption of renewable energy sources.
In the world economy energy intensity of GDP is characterized by the following trends: in the OECD countries (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), this fgure over the years 1990-2010 decreased from almost 200 to a little over 150 t.o.e (tons of oil equivalent) per U.S. $ 1 million, while in non-OECD countries – from almost 300 to about 210 t.o.e.
These circumstances challenge states to reduce energy intensity in prospect. In this regard, a decrease of oil consumption and growth of gas consumption in future is of concern for all nations. By 2030, approxi-mately 27% of world energy consumption will fall on natural gas, oil and coal, from 7% to 8% - on hydro and nuclear power. In addition, with the growth of global GDP up to 100%, world energy needs will grow up to 35% in 20 years.

Scenarios for the future
Today, on the hydrocarbons market it is no-ticeable that a new energy reality is formed, which, along with U.S., EU, Middle East and East Asia is already defned by the such re-gions as the Middle East, Russia and Cen-tral Asia, South and Southeast Asia, where the most promising suppliers and consumers of gas located.
A technological breakthrough that reduces the economy's dependence on supplies of raw materials is the only one to stop this process. However, in the next decade, oil will remain the leading energy source, providing about 40% of power consumption. It is followed by natural gas (28%), coal (20%), renewables (7%) and nuclear ener-gy (5%). Shares of oil and natural gas will rise, while the share of coal and nuclear power - decline. It is possible that in the future consumption of nuclear energy will stabilize and begin to expand the scope of alternative energy sources, but it will not affect the basic trends, at least over the next 15-25 years.
In more distant perspective the structure of the global energy balance is likely to seek for transformation primarily by two main scenarios.
The frst one means a gradual shift from oil to gas, approximately the same when oil replaced coal. Then, it is expected to shift to renewable sources and, obviously, to nuclear energy. The "black gold" will retain the position as an important source of energy, at least until the middle of the XXI century.
According to the second scenario plan, if a progress in the feld of hydrogen technologies, enabling a rapid displacement of gasoline engines will take place in the coming decade, so a reduction in oil consumption will begin much earlier - by about 2025. But for now this is unlikely. The energy intensity of world economy, mainly due to the developed countries, will gradually decrease, but linear depen-dence between GDP growth and increase of energy consumption will remain. The continuing rise of the global economy for some time will pull the energy demand. But consumption is slowing down, more and more lagging behind rates of GDP. This means that the global economies begin to adapt to higher prices through re-ducing of energy consumption and use of alternative and renewable energy. The share of energy in total expenditures of GDP of Western countries will continue  to decline. This eliminates the possibility to rely mainly on energy as a tool for national development even in the medium term. Consumption of "blue fuel" will grow most rapidly in APR countries (an average of 3.6% per year), Central and South America (3.2%), Middle East (3.1%), Africa (4 1%), increasing by cheapening and improvement of its technological systems of transportation (including LNG) and use. The supply of gas will expand due to a number of major projects on its extraction: in Russia (the Yamal Peninsula, Eastern Siberia, the Far East and the Kara Sea shelf), Iran (South Pars feld, etc.), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Algeria, Libya, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan (shelf of the Caspian Sea) and other regions. Due to the predictable reduction of oil output in industrialized countries the volume of its imports will increase substantially, especially from politically and economically unstable countries of Persian Gulf. Thereby, the issue of diversifcation of supply sources becomes topical. In this regard, it is clear what caused a growing attention of the major energy consuming countries and major international corporations to the resource-base of states not included to OPEC.