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NewsAsia 27 Jun 07
Asian economic growth driving greater energy consumption: BP
SINGAPORE : The world is not only burning up more energy resources to earn every extra dollar but also producing a lot more greenhouse gas emissions to drive today's economic growth. These are some of the major findings out today in oil giant BP's Statistical Review of World Energy 2007.
Growing economies in Asia are burning up a lot more coal than oil. And although that is leading to more pollution in the region, BP says Singapore can stand to gain.
Christof Ruhl, Group Deputy Chief Economist, BP, said: "This is where the carbon is generated, where the coal is used, where the growth is high in all the surrounding countries. So Singapore is not isolated from this. But Singapore has already developed and has a very respectable model of economic development, which many countries look to.
"And Singapore is now in the situation that it has the infrastructure and the income to finance some of these technologies. And whoever have these technological breakthroughs will reap the benefits."
BP says global consumption of all energy fuels except nuclear grew 3 percent a year in the five years leading to 2006 compared to 1.2 percent in the previous five years.
BP says the world has not experienced the high levels of growth seen in the last five years since the 1960's. It says the strong growth, along with the intense energy consumption, is broadbased, taking place across all regions.
And that bodes well for Singapore as a trading hub. This especially as energy use shifts from developed economies in North America and Europe to Asia and the rest of the world.
Mr Ruhl said: "If it weren't for the US, then oil consumption in the OECD would have been negative. Because more of the global oil demand is shifted to Asia and we've seen the OECD countries are declining in their oil demand. So as long as Singapore is a hub between producing countries and consuming countries, it will gain in importance.
"Secondly, what it may mean is that down the road, other energies become more important, especially LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). And to the extent that Singapore can establish itself as a serious trading hub for LNG, it will increase even more in importance."
Singapore is developing a LNG terminal which will churn out 3 million tonnes of gas a year when ready in six years.
In its report, BP also says last year's higher oil prices have hurt growth in demand for energy resources. This as the world's basic energy consumption in 2006 grew a mere 2.4 percent while GDP grew 5.3 percent - the highest since 1973. Oil prices hit a record high of US$78.69 a barrel in August last year. - CNA/ch
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