Agency sees big hike in oil, gas needs

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Global energy needs will surge 50 percent by 2030 and prices will rise if capacity is not significantly increased, the International Energy Agency said Monday in its 2005 World Energy Outlook.

There are sufficient oil and natural gas reserves to meet those needs, particularly in North Africa and the Middle East, but about 17 euros trillion ($20 trillion) in new investments is urgently needed to bring those supplies to the consumer market, the agency said.

New energy sources will increasingly be needed to meet demand in growing economies like China and India.

Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will also climb, by 52 percent in the same period, the Paris-based agency predicted.

“These projected trends have important implications and lead to a future that is not sustainable from an energy-security or environmental perspective,” said Claude Mandil, the agency’s executive director. “We must change these outcomes and get the planet onto a sustainable energy path.”

The IEA, established during the oil crisis of 1973-1974, is a leading energy policy adviser for its 26 member countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, 19 European nations including Germany and Britain, and the Republic of Korea.

It coordinates measures in times of oil supply emergencies and makes policy recommendations on broader energy issues such as climate change, market reform and energy technology.

Crude oil prices are seen easing as more production facilities come online over the next decades, to $35 a barrel by 2010. But the IEA raised its long-term projection for 2030 to $39 a barrel, from $29 in its 2004 report.

Oil was trading at about $60 a barrel Monday, down from the highs it hit in late August due to Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico, but still nearly double its price two years ago. Concerns about growing demand and spare refining capacity, as well as unrest in oil-producing countries have driven prices up.

The organization cited as risk factors environmental restrictions and local resistance, demand for lighter products and more demanding product specifications.

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