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Natural Gas ’Fuel of the Future’ as Demand Rises, Statoil Says

Natural gas will be the “fuel of the future” with annual demand projected to rise 60 percent by 2040, according to Norway’s state-owned oil company Statoil ASA.

Gas demand will rise by 1.6 percent annually and account for more than 24 percent of global energy demand by 2040, up from 21.3 percent today, the Oslo-based company said in a report. Global oil demand will peak around 2030, Statoil said.

New low-cost sources of natural gas, as well as environmental policies favoring fuels emitting less carbon dioxide when burned, will be the main drivers for greater use of the commodity, Chief Analyst Eirik Waerness said in the report.

“Economic growth depends on energy, and economic progress will continue to drive energy demand,” Waerness said. “Natural gas is still seen as a fuel of the future.”

The world economy will grow at an average rate of 2.8 percent annually to 2040, similar to the growth rate seen in the past 30 years, driven by emerging economies, Statoil said.

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