Energy & Environment

Weekly Oil Market Crash Update: International Energy Agency Expects Global Oil Consumption Will Decline 8% in 2020

Worldwide energy demand and investment is also predicted to go down.

AP Photo/LM Otero
In this photo made Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014, men work on an well pump near Sweetwater, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Overall global energy demand is expected to fall 5% in 2020, oil consumption by 8%, and energy investment is likely down 18% for the year. That's according to the World Energy Outlook 2020 from the International Energy Agency.

The report identified two major themes: impact of COVID-19 on the energy industry, and the possibility for speeding up the transition to more renewable forms of energy.

"These themes are interlinked and subject to major near-term uncertainties," according to the IEA Outlook, "in particular relating to the duration and severity of the pandemic, its economic implications and the extent to which energy and sustainability are built into recovery strategies."

The global predictions come as more job losses were announced in the Bayou City in the last week: Chevron is cutting 700 people from its Houston workforce. Recently Chevron acquired Houston-based Noble Energy, and a company spokesperson told Reuters decisions about Noble's 2,200 employees are expected in the next few weeks.

More layoffs are likely as the oil and gas industry continues through a period of contraction. According to the firm Deloitte, around 70% of jobs lost in 2020 may not come back by the end of next year in what it calls a "business-as-usual scenario."

Houston has already shed more than 18,000 oil and gas jobs since the start of the pandemic. Deloitte reports nationwide the industry has lost more than 107,000 jobs.

Also this week, voters have the chance to pick the state's next oil and gas regulator as they head to the polls for early voting. Chrysta Castañeda hopes to be the first democrat elected to the Railroad Commission (which regulates oil and gas) in 30 years. Republican Jim Wright hopes his pro-business message will get him elected to the three-member commission. Read more about the candidates here.

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