(EnergyAsia, January 21 2013, Monday) — Oil will lose its dominant position as the world’s primary fuel by 2030 as natural gas and coal gain market share to share equal billing, according to BP’s latest energy forecast to 2030.

The UK major expects global demand for oil will grow by just 0.8% p.a. between 2011 and 2030 to lag behind a projected 1.2% rate for coal and 2% for natural gas.

“Oil, gas and coal are expected to converge on market shares of around 26-28% each by 2030,” it said. In 2011, BP reported that oil contributed about a third of the global energy mix, with coal in second place at 30% and gas at 23.7%.

The big winner will be non-fossil fuels including nuclear, hydro and renewables which will contribute a total of around 18-19% by 2030, compared with about 12.8% in 2011.

BP expects global oil and liquid fuels demand to rise from just over 88 million b/d in 2011 to 104 million b/d in 2030.

“All the net demand growth will come from outside the OECD. Demand growth from China, India and the Middle East will together account for almost all of net demand growth,” it said.

Growth in the supply of oil and other liquids (including biofuels) to 2030 will come mainly from the Americas and Middle East. More than half of the growth will come from non-OPEC sources, with rising production from US tight oil, Canadian oil sands, Brazilian deepwater and biofuels more than offsetting mature declines elsewhere.

Increasing production from new tight oil resources will result in the US overtaking Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of liquids in 2013. US oil imports are expected to fall 70% between 2011 and 2030, said BP.

OPEC’s market share is expected to fall early in the outlook, reflecting growing non-OPEC production together with slowing demand growth due to high prices and increasingly efficient transport technologies. OPEC market share is expected to rebound somewhat after 2020.

BP’s group chief economist, Christof Rühl, said:

“As OPEC cuts production in response over the coming decade, by 2015 we expect spare capacity to reach the highest levels since the late 1980s. While this will be a key oil market uncertainty over the next decade, we believe OPEC members will be able to manage the challenge of maintaining production discipline despite high spare capacity.”

BP said it expects global energy demand growing at an average rate of 1.6% a year to 2030.