World Energy Needs

World demand for crude oil in 2021 was 94.5 million b/d and demand for natural gas was 149 Tcf. While the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects increasing use of renewables, improved energy efficiency and a shift toward electric vehicles, oil and natural gas will continue to meet rising demand for petrochemicals (used to make everyday products ranging from smartphones to running shoes) and to fuel transportation by land, sea and air. 

Natural gas demand in particular is expected to grow as countries seek to lower greenhouse gas emissions by displacing coal for heating and power generation. Natural gas is cost-effective, abundant and reliable and produces half the emissions of coal. (Source: America Geosciences, 2022)

How is Energy used Globally?

Different countries use different types of energy, so it’s difficult to say who uses the most. Canada itself uses a diverse energy mix including oil, natural gas, hydroelectricity, nuclear and more.  

Regardless of the source of energy, demand is growing. With the global population expected to increase by about two billion over the next two decades, and with improving standards of living, it is estimated that electricity consumption will increase 50% from 2021 to 2040. Source: IEA World Energy Outlook, 2022.  

Current demand for fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) is 66% of total energy demand. Source: IEA World Energy Outlook, 2022. The remaining sources include nuclear power, biofuels, hydro, and other renewables such as solar, wind and geothermal energy. 

Potential Energy Demand

The International Energy Agency (IEA) prepares annual projections about potential energy demand using a number of different scenarios. In its 2021 report, the IEA Stated Policies Scenario projects total energy demand to increase 21% by 2040. Global demand for natural gas is expected to increase 28% and global demand for oil will increase by 17% by 2050. 

Global Energy Mix infographic utilizing data from International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook 2022, Stated Policies Scenario.

Energy Consumption by the Numbers

Other projections from IEA World Energy Outlook 2021:  

  • 8.5 billion: Global population is expected to grow from just under 8 billion in 2022 to over 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050. Increased energy demand coming from emerging markets and developing economies. 
  • 2 times more: The world would need twice as much energy as it produces today if it weren’t for continuous improvements in energy efficiency. 
  • Many nations are looking to natural gas for affordable and reliable electrical power generation that produces lower emissions than coal. 
  • While use of oil for transportation will peak, growth in petrochemicals means more oil will be needed in the future. 
  • 52%: growth in global electricity generation. Currently 772 million people worldwide still live without access to electricity. 

International Energy Agency, 2021, Stated Policies Scenario 

Why Canada’s Oil and Natural Gas?

Canada currently produces more oil and natural gas than the country can consume, making Canada a net exporter of these resources. 

Canada’s oil and natural gas industry can and should become the world’s energy supplier of choice. Canada is able to provide our environmentally and socially responsible products to help meet growing energy needs and help displace fuels from other less responsibly produced sources.

The Canadian oil and natural gas industry is also implementing innovative technologies to improve efficiency and reduce environmental impacts. Through substantial investments in innovation and implementation of new technologies, Canada’s performance will continuously improve.

Canada can build on our leadership in environmental stewardship and responsible energy production to help address growing global carbon emissions. At the same time, ensuring a healthy oil and natural gas industry with access to global markets also ensures ongoing prosperity and economic benefits across our country.