IRVING, Texas, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Global energy demand is on course to be about 35 percent higher in 2040 than it was in 2010, ExxonMobil says in its annual long-term energy forecast.
China and India together will account for half of the projected growth in global energy demand, the report released Thursday noted.
"Understanding global energy trends is absolutely critical for effective energy policy," ExxonMobil chairman Rex W. Tillerson said in a statement. "The world depends on safe, reliable and affordable energy development to support economic growth and our modern way of life."
ExxonMobil expects natural gas will become the world's second most-used fuel on an energy-equivalent basis after oil around 2025 and expects natural gas consumption to rise 65 percent by 2040.
Although some countries scaled back their nuclear expansion plans in the aftermath of Japan's 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, nuclear energy "will see solid growth," led by the Asia-Pacific region, where nuclear output is projected to increase from 3 percent of total energy in 2010 to nearly 9 percent by 2040, the report says.
ExxonMobil said about 65 percent of the world's recoverable crude and condensate resource will have yet to be produced by 2040.
"With production rising and demand falling, North America is expected to shift from a significant crude oil importer to a fairly balanced position by 2030," the report states.
In Latin America, the development of Venezuelan oil sands, Brazilian deepwater and Brazilian biofuels is projected to almost double production from the region through 2040, the company said.
The reports said market forces and emerging policies will continue to have an impact on energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.
"In most OECD nations, we assume an implied cost of CO2 emissions that will reach about $80 per ton in 2040," the report states.
Ken Cohen, ExxonMobil's vice president of public and government affairs, noted the company's projected carbon cost is not an endorsement of a carbon tax but instead is a pragmatic recognition of the global regulatory environment.
"We assume a whole array of [regulations] are going to be put into effect," Cohen was quoted as saying by the Houston Chronicle. "It is not saying we anticipate an explicit carbon tax."
As for transportation, ExxonMobil says the number of cars on the road worldwide is expected to approximately double by 2040 and that hybrid cars will account for about half of global new-car sales by that time.
In the commercial transportation sector, the increase in energy demand "is likely to be partially offset by significant improvements to fuel efficiency," the report said.