The global oil market faces unprecedented challenges and opportunities. One thing seems clear: The oil market as we know it today will have transformed in five years. The IEA’s 2013 Medium-Term Oil Market Report (MTOMR) sketches out the likely changes to 2018 and what they mean for the world. Its forecasts are based on hard facts and the most likely assumptions: current expectations of economic growth, known government policies likely to affect oil supply and demand, regulatory changes that may impact oil market participation and oil price formation, oil field decline trends, and confirmed investments in the upstream, midstream and downstream.
Last year’s MTOMR challenged conventional wisdom with its analysis of the huge potential unlocked by the North American supply revolution and the Iraqi resurgence. Building on this foundation, the 2013 MTOMR turns to the formidable challenges facing the development of these new resources, while further exploring the transformation it brings to all aspects of the market. The impact of political turmoil in the Middle East and Africa is also assessed.
On the demand front, the Report examines the continuing redistribution of demand by region, fuel-on-fuel competition between oil and natural gas, the short-term prospects for efficiency gains, and the shifting composition of the demand barrel. The MTOMR also pays close attention to the entire supply chain, including changes in refining capacity, the emergence of refining ‘mega-hubs,’ and the changing role of trading houses and midstream companies in a rapidly evolving product distribution system – and how that may affect product availability and prices.
The MTOMR’s goal is not only to get the numbers right but also to spot emerging shifts that may temporarily or durably affect the market. That makes it a unique tool for anyone engaged in policy or investment decision-making in the energy sphere, and those more broadly interested in the oil market and the global economy.