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US to lead oil output growth through 2030: ConocoPhillips chief economist

Highlights

Global oil demand expected to rise modestly to 2030

Refining capacity will adapt to lighter US crudes

US crude export constraints seen as temporary

Washington — The US will lead global oil production growth for the next decade, and tight oil can continue to grow beyond the 2030s even moderate prices, ConocoPhillips chief economist Helen Currie told S&P Global Platts Tuesday.

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ConocoPhillips expects OPEC net production growth of 2 million-3 million b/d during the next decade, while non-US/non-OPEC oil output will remain "a very big part of meeting the world's energy needs" during that period, she said.

"We find plenty of projects that can be developed at a moderate price level," Currie said of the global supply outlook through 2030.

ConocoPhillips expects modest global oil demand growth through the next decade.

US crude exports will keep rising as domestic production grows. They may face constraints at various times as Gulf Coast infrastructure is getting built, "but we don't foresee those being permanent issues," Currie said. "There are plenty of projects along the Gulf Coast."

While some analysts have questioned whether global refining demand can support the growth in US light crude being projected, Currie said she sees growing domestic demand in the form of announced expansions by Gulf Coast refineries and petrochemical plants.

"We are seeing signs of growth in refining and processing capability in the US for the lighter ends," she said.

ConocoPhillips also expects higher demand for US condensates and NGLs from buyers in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

"We think that will continue to grow. ... There's definitely appetite for light US molecules in the Asia market," she said.

Currie shared a more detailed oil market outlook Monday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies during a briefing held under Chatham House rules. She released some of the findings to Platts Tuesday.

-- Meghan Gordon, meghan.gordon@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Richard Rubin, newsdesk@spglobal.com