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There's One Word That Looms Large in Oil's Future: Plastics

  • Petchems may account for 50% demand growth through 2050: IEA
  • Growth in developing countries outweighs curbs and recycling
Operations At The Green Toy Inc. Production Facility Ahead Of Durable Goods Figures
Photographer: Cayce Clifford/Bloomberg

A growing need for more plastics and petrochemicals in the developing world will be the leading driver of oil demand, outpacing planes, trains and automobiles, according to the International Energy Agency.

Petrochemicals will account for more than a third of the nearly 10 million barrels a day of oil demand growth through 2030, and nearly half of increased consumption through 2050, adding nearly 7 million barrels a day by then, the agency projected in its Future of Petrochemicals report.