Resurgence in COVID-19 cases slows oil demand rebound -IEA

20 Janvier, 2021, 23:21 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Methane emissions declined slightly in 2020 amid lower oil and gas production

"Global oil demand is expected to recover by 5.5 million barrels per day (mbd) to 96.6 mbd in 2021, following an unprecedented collapse of 8.8 mbd in 2020", the IEA said in its latest monthly report.

The Russian and American oil and gas industries were by far the largest emitters of methane in 2020, followed by those of Iran, Turkmenistan and Iraq, according to the IEA.

Both supply and demand are on track for recovery this year, and efforts by top producers to balance the market by reining in output helped lower stockpiles of crude and oil products worldwide, though oil stocks remained stubbornly close to a May peak.

On the supply side, the IEA said that after "falling by a record 6.6 mbd in 2020, world oil supply is set to rise by over 1.0 mbd this year".

Methane has more than 80 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide in its first 20 years in the atmosphere and is liable to leak from oil and gas infrastructure, such as pipelines.

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"There is no good reason to allow these harmful leaks to continue and there is every reason for responsible operators to ensure that they are addressed".

According to the report, oil production is responsible for nearly 40% of methane emissions today with the remaining 60% coming from the natural gas value chain. It normally receives less attention than Carbon dioxide when talking about the climate crisis, but methane is actually about 84 times more potent than Carbon dioxide at warming the planet over a 20-year period, and 25 times more powerful over a 100-year period.

In the IEA's Sustainable Development Scenario, which would see global warming curbed to manageable levels, energy sector methane emissions would have to fall to below 50 million tonnes by 2025 and below 25 million tonnes by 2030.

Scientists estimate that 60 percent of the methane released in the atmosphere is caused by humans, tracing back to animal farming (44 percent of livestock emissions are methane), waste, and leaks at oil and gas drilling sites.

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