Oil Dependence

Is Transport Running Out of Affordable Fuel?

image of Oil Dependence

Oil consumption is increasingly concentrated in transport and relatively limited fluctuations in transport demand can have increasingly significant effects on oil prices. This Round Table assesses the policy instruments available to address oil security and climate change and examines their interaction with measures to manage congestion and mitigate local air pollution. A number of incompatibilities and trade-offs are identified underlining the importance of integrated policy making. The report includes an examination of the factors that drive oil prices in the short and long term and a discussion of the outlook for oil supply.

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Medium-Term Oil Market Uncertainties

International Transport Forum

The oil market has changed dramatically over the past eight years, with prices rising from $10 to over $90/barrel. The dynamics of the industry have changed, but there is still considerable debate over whether this represents a paradigmatic shift of supply and demand conditions or is simply a result of longer term cyclical factors. Non-OECD oil demand growth is running three times faster than in the OECD, and is set to surpass the OECD in volumetric terms in the middle of the next decade. Non-OPEC supplies have plateaued over the past five years and look set to remain at such levels for the coming five years. Understanding the drivers behind these shifts gives an insight into the prospects for the coming years. However, even looking five years forward, there are many variables which could affect the outcome. These forecasts therefore provide a guide to the future, but should not be expected to project supply and demand with pinpoint accuracy. Equally important is the need to understand the uncertainties which lie behind any forecast that could change the final outcome.

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