Equinor upbeat on oil and the economy

June 7 (UPI) — Crude oil demand and production remain strong, Norwegian energy major Equinor said, adding geopolitical risk won’t derail the global economy.

Equinor, formerly Statoil, published a 67-page report highlighting its forecasts for the global economy and the energy sector.

Addressing climate change concerns, the company said there were market improvements seen in things like the increased use of electric vehicles. Fossil fuels, however, still dominate the energy landscape. Looking out to 2050, the company said fossil fuels account for more than 70 percent of total energy demand with oil at the top of the list.

Short-term, the company said a period of relatively low oil prices, together with improvements in the global economy, had spurred oil demand. Total global oil demand grew by 1.6 million barrels per day between 2014 and 2017 and should stay at that rate through 2018.

In the most extreme case, Equinor sees oil demand peaking in 2020. Nevertheless, the company said large investments will be needed because only half of total demand for fossil fuels in 2050 could be supplied by fields already in production.

Norway is an important oil and gas producer for the global economy, coming in just behind Russia when it comes to supplying the European market. Equinor is leading development of the Johan Svedrup oil field, which will be in operation by late 2019. The field, which should be in production for about 50 years, is one of the largest with 3.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent reverses.

Contracts worth more than $5.7 billion have been awarded for Johan Sverdrup so far and most of those have gone to companies in Norway.

On the economy, Equinor said geopolitical tensions and protectionist trade policies were negative factors for the world, but easing financial conditions could balance that impact.

“Hence, risks to near-term growth appear broadly balanced,” the report read.

From 2018-20, Equinor’s economists expect global growth at around 3 percent, which would be the strongest pace since the financial crisis of 2007-08.