Oil and gas markets have been marked by an increased divergence in recent months. On the one hand, oil market developments have generated an unpleasant sense of déja vu: rapid demand growth in emerging markets eclipsed sluggish supply growth to push prices higher even before the conflict in Libya tightened supplies still further. Oil prices around $100/bbl are weighing down on an already-fragile macroeconomic and financial situation in the OECD, pressuring national budgets in the non-OECD and causing price inflation of other commodities, as well as political concerns about speculation. There is an uncanny resemblance to the first half of 2008. On the other hand, in the world of natural gas an amazing disconnect has developed as demand recovered to well above pre-financial-crisis levels in most major regions. Gas markets have tightened in Europe and Asia, where prices are about twice the level seen in the United States, as the unconventional gas revolution is in full swing. From the upstream implications of the Arab Spring to the macroeconomic consequences of the eurozone crisis, energy markets are experiencing one of the most uncertain periods in decades.
Medium-Term Oil and Gas Markets 2011 provides a comprehensive outlook for oil and gas fundamentals through 2016. The oil market analysis covers demand developments on a product-by-product and key-sector basis, as well as a detailed bottom-up assessment of upstream and refinery investments, trade flows, oil products supply and OPEC spare capacity. The gas market analysis offers a region-by-region assessment of demand and production, infrastructure investment, price developments and prospects for unconventional gas. It also examines the globalising LNG trade.