Global export demand for steaming coal and gas will remain relatively strong through the end of the century while coking coal and crude oil will more closely follow global economic growth rates, said energy transportation experts at an industry conference Thursday.
Douglas Wolcott, president of Chevron Shipping Co., said that Asia will be the most active and interesting area for energy consumption.China will become an net importer by 1995, Japan is suffering a prolonged recession, other East Asian exporter "tigers" are refining and consuming more, while Vietnam may come on strong as a producer, he said.
Fridtjof Lorentzen, president designate of the Baltic and International Maritime Council, told Sea Japan '94 that global steam coal exports will likely grow by 18 percent in the 1991-95 period and by 36 percent from 1996 to 2000.
Despite growing environmental concern, exports are set to reach 229 million tons in 1995 and 312 tons by 2000, Mr. Lorentzen said. "Projections for steam coal are quite optimistic," he said.
Steam coal in East Asian countries will grow by 45 percent between 1995 and 2000, he said.
Demand for coking coal, used in blast furnace steel production, grew by 40 percent during the 1980s. But new steel production techniques and environmental concerns have dimmed the outlook over the next decade somewhat, he said.
The market will remain dominated by three major producers - Australia, the United States and Canada, which together accounted for 86 percent of seaborne exports in 1991.
Total exports are forecast to amount to 135 million tons in 1995 and 148 million tons in 2000 for an increase of less than 2 percent annually.
Crude oil demand, meanwhile, peaked in 1978 when total exports reached 1.59 billion tons. This dropped 20 percent over the next decade to 1.31 billion tons by 1988 before climbing again to 1.41 billion tons by 1991.
Mr. Lorentzen said the growth rates for crude are expected to average 2.5 percent a year for the rest of the 1990s with no major shift in supply sources expected.
Petroleum product export demand will remain stronger than crude demand with an average 4 percent growth expected through the decade, he said. This is attributed to added refinery capacity in the Middle East. Trading patterns will shift somewhat toward 1997 as more refining is done in Southeast Asia.
Taking a broader view, Mr. Lorentzen said acid rain, ozone and growing environmental concerns have led to a political preference for natural gas, but the world is still heavily dependent on oil and coal, which will remain at about 65 percent of world energy consumption in coming years.
Demand for nuclear fuel, meanwhile, will increase in line with oil and coal demand.
Within the electrical output market, 40 percent of power is now generated by coal-fired power stations, 24 percent by nuclear energy and the rest from hydroelectric power, oil, other solid fuels, geothermal, solar energy and gas, he said.