Worldwide Energy Demand and Supply

Medium-Term Forecasts

by Horst Mendershausen


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A discussion of forecasts to 1985 and 1990 by governmental, intergovernmental, major oil companies and other expert sources. They all are based on the assumption that society pursues an essentially conventional course with respect to energy technology, distribution, use, and institutional arrangements. Detailed tables are included that show the energy balances for the United States, OECD countries, Japan, and the OPEC Coalition. These outline the supply/demand in millions of barrels per day of oil equivalent for various energy sources. The author discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the forecasts and mentions future possibilities that could modify the predictions, such as OPEC countries not having the production capacity to meet demand in 1985-1990, and failures by various countries to meet their increased nuclear energy goals. The world is not running out of oil, but out of cheap oil, and the prospects over the next few decades are for increasingly expensive energy sources.

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