Asia-Pacific oil imports by 2035 to rise close to Mideast 2011 crude output - ADB

DAEGU (South Korea): Net oil imports in the Asia-Pacific will rise to more than 25 million barrels per day in 2035, or close to the current crude output in the Middle East, as energy demand growth outpaces the rest of the world, the Asian Development Bank said on Monday.

Asia-Pacific nations will need cumulative investments of more than $11 trillion between 2010 and 2035 to fuel energy needs, the bank said in a report on the region's energy outlook.

Primary energy demand growth led by the transport sector is projected to rise at 2.1 percent a year during the period, faster than the world's average growth at 1.5 percent.

"The trend will be slower than the historical one, and energy intensity will be decoupled from the GDP growth through 2035, in view of the assumed steady improvement in energy efficiency and some shifts in economic structure," the ADB said.

Electricity demand will more than double during the period to meet higher living standards and as economies grow.

The region will continue to rely on fossil fuels to meet more than 80 percent of energy needs, leading to a 2 percent rise in carbon dioxide emissions each year, the bank said.

Natural gas will see the fastest demand growth at 3.9 percent each year because of an increased use for power generation, with China accounting for half of the volume.

Coal will still make up for more than 40 percent of energy needs, with Southeast Asia's demand growth at 4.8 percent per year through 2035 outpacing the rest of the region, ADB said.

To meet this demand, the region is projected to become a net coal importer after 2015 and revert to a net exporter by 2035 on higher output from Indonesia and Australia, the bank said.

For oil, demand in the region will grow by 1.9 percent per year through 2035 with net imports rising to 25.7 million bpd, driven by the transport sector.

This is comparable to the current crude oil production of the Middle East countries at 27.7 million bpd in 2011, suggesting major challenges for the members of Asia and the Pacific to find secure, stable, and affordable supply sources outside the region, the bank said.

"The transport sector is projected to have the fastest increase in energy demand," it said.

"Driven by India's motorization, where passenger vehicles will reach 117.8 million units in 2035, up from 16.7 million units in 2010, South Asia's transport energy demand is projected to more than triple..." - Reuters

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