Welcome to our oil and gas forecast to 2050

Liv A. Hovem, DNV GL - Oil & Gas CEO

More than half of senior professionals surveyed for our 2019 research on the outlook for the oil and gas industry said their company is actively adapting this year to a less carbon-intensive energy mix.

That number has steadily increased over the past few years. Decarbonization once brought companies in our sector a competitive edge. It is now becoming an imperative to their license to operate. 

Our Energy Transition Outlook makes it clear that there is no single pathway to a decarbonized energy mix. A combination of energy sources will be needed over the coming decades to provide the world with a secure supply of affordable, decarbonized energy for the long term.

Our Energy Transition Outlook makes it clear that that there is no single pathway to a decarbonized energy mix. 

From the middle of the next decade, the world’s largest source of energy will be gas. As oil demand peaks — around the mid-2020s, according to our ETO — demand for gas will increase to such an extent that it will account for nearly a third of the world’s energy supply by mid-century. Supply of energy from renewable sources will also increase, from 14% of the world energy mix today to 40% in 2050. 

While we forecast demand growth for both gas and renewables during the next 30 years, neither of these alone will make for a successful energy transition. 

As gas increasingly complements variable renewables, its production and consumption must be decarbonized for countries to achieve the net-zero emissions targets they are considering or beginning to implement. 

The successful and rapid decarbonization of the gas mix will rely on hydrocarbon and renewable energy technologies working together, not in competition with each other. In this report, we provide several examples of how experts from across the energy value chain are collaborating to achieve this. Their efforts are quickly bearing fruit. 

Just a decade ago, the concept of using wind turbines to electrify an offshore platform would have been considered unnecessary; the thought of fuelling a city’s gas networks entirely with hydrogen, unfeasible. Our industry is rapidly innovating towards a common goal. It is inspiring, and we need more of it. 

As we work to decarbonize the oil and gas value chain for the long-term future, it is important to remember that our actions today will have a significant bearing on our success in the decades ahead. Public scrutiny of our sector is at an all-time high, and will continue to grow. 

We must maintain the highest safety and environmental standards today, if we are to win the public support needed to bring a secure supply of sustainable and affordable energy to tomorrow’s world.