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

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states 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.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7798
JPY
USD
106.41
GBP
USD
0.6203
CAD
USD
1.1242
INR
USD
61.430

Rates may not be current.