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Shell expects growth in oil demand by the end of 2020s as electric car sales grow

The world's oil consumption could peak as early as the end of the next decade as electric vehicles become more popular, Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said on Thursday.

27.Jul.17 3:33 PM
By Daria Zaytseva


Shell expects growth in oil demand by the end of 2020s as electric car sales grow

The prospect of declining oil consumption after more than a century of growth, when the world switches to cleaner burning fuels, is gaining momentum. On Wednesday Britain announced plans to ban diesel and petrol cars by 2040, following a similar move in France.

According to the most aggressive scenario of the Anglo-Dutch company with batteries as a replacement for traditional internal combustion engines, oil consumption will peak in the early 2030's, van Beurden said.

He added that due to the high use of biofuels in the mix, the demand could reach a maximum by the end of 2020s.

But oil will still be needed for decades to come as it is likely to remain the main fuel for planes, ships and heavy trucks, van Beurden told reporters.

The outlook from the world's second-largest oil and gas company contrasts with others in the sector. Energy watchdog International Energy Agency does not expect oil demand to peak before 2040.

Shell, which has been producing oil since 1907, and its peers are increasingly moving to less-polluting natural gas production as the world enters a power saving system with low carbon emissions.

Last year the company launched a new energies division in which it intends to invest up to $1 billion a year by 2020 on renewable energy, biofuels and hydrogen.

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