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OPEC bulletin 8–9/17

energy efficiency improvements, as well as a decelera-

tion of energy resource demand growth is obviously just

a question of time.


Biotechnologies are of no less importance for us than

anything else in this list. At first glance, it may seem

that they have no relation to energy at all, but such a

statement is misleading. All our energy consumption

forecasts are based on population expansion, and the

welfare of people.

One of the main driving forces behind the current

population trends is the rapid development of biotech-

nologies. Such areas as immune engineering, human

genome mapping and precise genetic engineering will

enable us to considerably extend not only the aver-

age human lifespan, but also its active stage. And this,

together with the population size, is directly connected

to energy consumption.

The development of precise genetic engineering in

crop productionwill continue to evolve given the necessity

to feed an expanding population, and the sharp growth in

agriculture productivity will not occur everywhere, but in

particular regions. This will lead to a growing demand for

transportation and storage. Both of these are quite power

intensive sectors, which boosts energy demand.

Materials science

Breakthroughs in materials science have already made

3D printing possible, and its further development may

lead to huge shifts in approaches to production. If some

goods, or parts, can be printed near the consumer, the

necessity for huge factories that produce goods that

are large and inconvenient to transport disappears. Of

course, a great deal of research and adjustment is nec-

essary to make it commercially viable, but progress never

stops. Changes in transport streams and the labour mar-

ket will also influence the demand for fuel and power, and

in turn, this will shape the world economy.

Infrastructure and transport reforms

Enhancing the reliability and accessibility of infrastruc-

ture in many energy branches facilitates the further glo-

balization of the energy market, concerning such devel-

opments as pipelines, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and

electric power.

We can observe a sharp rise in the number of

Alexander Novak (l), Russia’s Minister of Energy, presenting his address to the 22


World Petroleum Congress.