Pipeline Construction & Energy Outlook

November 2013, Vol. 68 No. 11

Underground Construction and Pipeline & Gas Journal’s pipeline construction survey indicates that 77,318 miles of pipelines around the world are in various stages of construction and planned. Of these, 33,205 represent projects in the planning and engineering phase and 44,113 are in various stages of construction.

The following reflect new and planned pipelines miles in the six basic geopolitical regions:
• Asia Pacific – 18,628;
• Former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries – 9,949;
• South-Central America and the Caribbean – 5,599;
• Middle East – 12,852;
• Africa – 27,885; and
• Western Europe and European Union countries – 2,405.

According to ExxonMobil’s Energy Outlook 2013, global demand for energy is expected to rise by about 35 percent from 2010-2040, a significant increase that will require trillions of dollars in investment and ongoing advances in energy technology.

The report credits the increase to both population growth and rising prosperity and economic growth around the world, which will create new demands for energy. Moreover, global GDP is projected to expand by about 130 percent from 2010-2040.

The report notes that energy demand trends will vary greatly by country type. Among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which includes the United States, energy demand will be essentially flat through 2040. In non-OECD countries, such as China and India, demand is seen rising by 65 percent as rapid increases in economic output and prosperity levels outpace gains in efficiency.

Other findings include:

● The need for energy to make electricity will remain the single biggest driver of demand. By 2040, electricity generation will account for more than 40 percent of global energy consumption;

● Oil, gas and coal continue to be the most widely used fuels, and have the scale needed to meet global demand, making up about 80 percent of total energy consumption in 2040; and

● Natural gas will grow fast enough to overtake coal for the number-two position behind oil. Demand for natural gas will rise by more than 60% through 2040. For both oil and natural gas, an increasing share of global supply will come from unconventional sources such as those produced from shale formations.