Scenarios looking at the energy transition required to achieve a low- or net zero-carbon economy, such as those published by the International Energy Agency and the UK Committee on Climate Change, show a marked reduction in demand for liquid hydrocarbons in the years ahead. Nonetheless, they also recognise the continued need for these products in some sectors, such as aviation, heavy goods vehicles and marine.
The early development of low-carbon fuel production would help achieve ambitious carbon abatement objectives, reducing the upheaval associated with the introduction of alternative technologies. This would make best use of significant existing infrastructure, whilst lowering carbon emissions in the short- and medium-term.
Low-carbon liquid fuels provided by the downstream oil sector could therefore be a key enabler in the transition to a low- or net zero-carbon economy.
With international, supranational and domestic government policies, as well technological developments, driving changes in the demand for petroleum products, UKPIA has looked at a number of different scenarios of what UK demand for the downstream oil products will look like in 2050.