By - Jim Vess

Jet fuel demand projected to soar by 2050 with Asian markets leading the way, EIA says

Energize Weekly, November 13, 2019

Global demand for jet fuel will continue to be the fastest-growing transport fuel through 2050, with the biggest growth coming in China and Southeast Asia, according to the federal Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) International Energy Outlook.

The EIA projects that jet fuel consumption will more than double to 29 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs) in 2050 from 13 quadrillion BTUs in 2018.

Spurred by demands for air freight and passenger travel, EIA expects the greatest increase in jet fuel consumption coming from China and other Asian countries, not the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The organization’s 36 member countries have some of the world’s most advanced economies.

The jet fuel consumption of those non-OECD countries will surpass OECD consumption by 2040. China and Southeast Asian countries account for 59 percent of the demand growth for the period. China’s fuel consumption is set to more than triple to 6 quadrillion BTUs in 2050.

“EIA expects the United States and countries in Europe and the Middle East to also experience considerable growth in jet fuel consumption,” the agency said.

Global air freight measured revenue ton miles (the weight of the shipment multiplied by the distance shipped) is projected to grow 2.3 percent annually reaching 330 revenue ton miles in 2050. China and other Asian countries account for much of the growth.

Passenger airlines will almost triple to about 18 million seat miles in 2050. EIA said it expects “a growing global middle class will travel more both domestically and internationally as household incomes rise.”

Again, commercial jet fuel consumption grows fastest in Asia than any other region, rising more that 40 percent by 2050.

Even with the sharp growth in freight and passenger travel indicators, increases in fuel consumption will be moderated by a more fuel-efficient global aircraft fleet, the EIA said. The agency said overall aircraft fleet efficiency is expected to improve by more than 20 percent between 2018 and 2050.

In 2019, U.S. jet fuel production set repeated records for monthly output with the August mark of 1.9 million barrels a day, the highest mark since the EIA began tracking jet fuel production in 1982.

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