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Almost 90 % of the world total primary energy supply comprises non-renewable energy – oil, natural gas, coal, and uranium. International Energy Agencies (e.g. IEA 2006) predict further increase in demand for all kinds of non-renewables. We here present the situation of reserves, production, and consumption. Except for conventional oil, global reserves appear to adequately cover the long-term energy demand.
Already today there is a significant geographical imbalance between the regions of resources and the regions of demand. In future, this imbalance will continue to increase. Accordingly, transport will become even more relevant. Pipeline transport of oil and natural gas will remain an important option.
About two thirds of crude oil produced in 2006 was transported across state borders –, partly over large distances by ships or pipeline. The main export region was the Middle East with 875 Mt (39.5 % of total exports, via ships), followed by Africa with 384 Mt (by ships), and the CIS countries with 331 Mt (predominantly via pipeline to Europe). Pipeline transport in the cross-border trade has reached about 14 % share of the total trade volume.
Cross-border trade of natural gas amounted to about 29 % of the global production in 2006 (not including transit across third countries). Roughly three quarters of this was transported via pipeline, the rest by ships – as liquefied natural gas (LNG). IEA (2004) predicts the inter-regional trade of natural gas to triple to 1,265 G.m³ till 2030. By then, more than 50 % of all inter-regional gas will be shipped as LNG.
Consumption of oil and gas in Europe will increase further. Due to a decrease in domestic production, in 2030 the dependence on oil and natural gas import will rise to a percentage of 89 % and 66 %, respectively. Secure oil and gas supply to Europe requires a diversification of sources and routes of supply. During the last years several new pipeline projects were established or went into the construction phase.