Total: World oil output to reach 95 million b/d by 2020

Worldwide oil production will stabilize at about 95 million b/d before 2020, including extra heavy crude from Venezuela and Canada, said Total CEO Christophe de Margerie.

Doris Leblond
OGJ Correspondent

PARIS, June 6 -- Worldwide oil production will stabilize at about 95 million b/d before 2020, including extra heavy crude from Venezuela and Canada, said Total SA Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie based on a long-term, internal company oil study, just released.

Energy savings and efficiency are therefore "absolutely necessary" to limit an ever-increasing demand pulled along by emerging countries and transport with an ever stronger focus on light products, the study said.

A further 5 million b/d might be added with products processed from biofuels, gas-to-liquids and coal-to-liquids, condensates, LPG, and the addition of refining gains, raising to 100 million b/d the overall oil supply to which the world will have to adapt within the time frame, the study said.

"A very ambitious plateau, which will be difficult to uphold," De Margerie said.

Jean-Jacques Mosconi, Total's head of strategy and economic intelligence, said the 116 million b/d supply assumption by 2030 given out by the International Energy Agency is "too optimistic."

Total's scenario was revealed at a seminar for the press held to deliver the message Total was anxious to impart that energy development and the environment are inextricably linked.

De Margerie said it was production and not reserves that are failing, production limited by both geological and geopolitical uncertainties that are slowing down the development of new capacities.

Mosconi said the world's remaining known oil reserves amount to 1,000 billion bbl, as much as has already been produced, with 60% of conventional reserves concentrated in the Middle East. He added that there are 200 billion bbl still to be discovered and potentially 300 billion bbl more reserves if recovery rates are increased to 37% from the current 32%. To gradually bring these oil resources into production, more cutting-edge technology will be required as well as higher investments, he insisted.

Total's "energy vision" is that by 2030 the share of fossil energies in the energy mix would still be about 75%. While in 2005 energy fossils accounted for 81% of the mix—of which 35% was for oil and 21% for gas—by 2030 oil will account for 30% and gas for 22%. Coal, nuclear, hydro, biofuels, biomass outside biofuels, and renewables will account for the rest.

In a short reference to natural gas, Mosconi indicated that resources "are very abundant" and concentrated in Russia and the Middle East. The growth of gas production, however, will rely on the development of LNG projects.

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