Don’t cry for Opec producers – even in a low-carbon future

How much does the world’s oil-producing bloc have to fear from an international agreement (or perhaps initially, a framework) on carbon dioxide emissions?

Opec members have signalled they are concerned about a Copenhagen agreement before – secretary-general Abdalla Salem El Badri said in September that oil producing countries should not be penalised for what they do.

However the IEA’s new report shows that even in its ’450 scenario’ – in which governments make big efforts to limit carbon dioxide concentrations to 450 parts per million – Opec production still increases quite significantly, to 43m barrels per day in 2020 and 48m b/d in 2030. That 2030 figure is 11m b/d higher than 2008 levels.  As the IEA writes, that means 2008 to 2030 growth will be steeper than 1980 – 2008 growth. And that’s the low growth scenario.

Look at the ‘nothing changes’ scenario (aka Reference Scenario) below:

IEA

Source: IEA

The IEA’s latest forecast for oil prices in 2030 is $115 (in 2008 dollars) in the ‘reference scenario’ and $90 in the 450 scenario.

What this will mean for oil importers, meanwhile:

IEA

Source: IEA

Related links:

Opec tackles the environment… sort of (FT Energy Source, 10/09/09)
Opec’s interests in emissions reduction (FT Energy Source, 20/04/09)

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