News / Economy

Experts See Big Changes in World Energy Market

Greg Flakus

As world population grows so does the demand for energy, driving fierce competition for diminishing resources. Many energy experts believe world oil production will soon peak and no alternative energy has been developed that can fill the demand. But at a forum held this week in Houston, energy experts examined trends that could radically transform the energy sector in the decades ahead.

In the past few years the world's energy scene began to shift. Brazil has discovered huge oil reserves in deepwater offshore projects and the United States unlocked natural gas and some oil in shale rock through horizontal drilling and a process known as “fracking.”

At the same time, Canada has ramped up production of petroleum from its oil sands deposits in the western province of Alberta.

Speaking at an energy conference this week in Houston, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, Joe Oliver, says technology has unlocked an energy bonanza in North America. “Between shale and Canada's oil sands, North America is now the fastest-growing oil-producing region outside of OPEC, with output projected to increase by more than 10 percent over the next five years," he said.

Oliver says the rise in North American production and deepwater and shale production elsewhere will reduce the power of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. “There will not be the same influence going forward, it seems to me, that the OPEC countries have had in respect to oil and other natural resources," he said.

This dramatic shift is the focus of Daniel Yergin's new book “The Quest: Energy Security and the Remaking of the Modern World.”  “The map is changing of oil supply and also expectations are going to change as well and that means markets will change as well and that will have an impact on geopolitics," he said.

Yergin, who is chairman of the Massachusetts-baed energy consulting firm IHS-CERA, notes that almost all the technological innovation that is transforming the global energy market has come in the traditional oil and gas sector. But he says development of renewable energy sources like wind, solar and biofuels will proceed and become more important a few decades from now. “We have to worry about the here and now and what things will look like in the next decade or two as well as think about the future, so in a way what it requires is that we work on all fronts at once," he said.

One nation taking that approach is Turkey, a country that is developing its wind energy with an aim to meet 30 percent of its domestic electricity demand in the next 20 years.

But the commissioner of Turkey's EMRA energy agency, Alparslan Bayrakrtar says his country is also seeking to develop its geographic position bridging Europe and Asia to become a regional energy hub. “We are at the center of supply and demand. The European side has a great demand and also our domestic demand is huge and also we have supply countries neighboring Turkey," he said.

This is the kind of planning that is helping transform the world, according to Secretary-General Christoph Frei, of the London-based World Energy Council. “We have established corridors for oil and gas, why not use some of those corridors to bring some of that wind energy, first to Turkey, but why not further, to Europe, et cetera," he said.

Frei says there are many environmental and geopolitical challenges facing the energy sector, but it is an exciting time for those involved in energy development. “Huge uncertainty on one side, lots of innovation on the other ... we are on the verge of a great, ongoing revolution," he said.

The world economy, food production and distribution, and the environment all depend on how this revolution turns out.

You May Like

US, Brazil's Climate-Change Plan: More Renewables, Less Deforestation

update Officials say joint initiative on climate change will allow Brazil, United States to strengthen and accelerate cooperation on issues ranging from land use to clean energy More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

After Nearly a Century, Voodoo Opera Rises Again

Opera centers on character named Lolo, a Louisiana plantation worker and Voodoo priestess More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishui
X
Abdulaziz Billow
June 30, 2015 2:16 PM
Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8926
JPY
USD
123.71
GBP
USD
0.6358
CAD
USD
1.2364
INR
USD
63.600

Rates may not be current.