Investors who try to keep up with the energy markets typically find that a lot of hard work awaits them. While these markets tend, in certain respects, to be fairly traditional and conservative, plenty of surprises inevitably await. At the same time, it is often the broader, longer term trends the identification of which tends to produce the most impressive results for investors. As those who learn more about the issue might discover, for instance, a shift in petroleum demand patterns that has been underway for some time is now starting to look like one of the most significant developments of recent years.
For a very long time, the global pattern of oil consumption has orbited very clearly around two most prominent centers of gravity. Between the titanic demand of the United States and the voracious appetite of Europe, oil shipments tended to head to one of these two most prominent destinations. Over the course of the last twenty or so years, though, a number of developments have started to change this picture significantly, and the momentum is only growing stronger.
On the one hand, for instance, vast increases in energy efficiency have helped to put a damper on petroleum demand growth across Europe and the United States. From consumer devices that require much less electricity to personal vehicles that go many miles more on a single tank, demand has simply not been growing as quickly as in the past.
This alone has helped to revise what had formerly been a fairly static landscape, but another development has been even more significant. Since resolving to harness the economy growing potential of the free market nearly forty years ago, China has led the way in an unprecedented surge of growth for much of Asia.
As a result, demand for petroleum across a large swathe of Asia has grown far more quickly than at any time anywhere else in the world. While China’s growth has slowed a bit in recent years, this has by no means been enough to counteract the ongoing shift. Many analysts and investors therefore look to the future as one where investing into energy markets will mean focusing even more so on Asia than on places like the United States and Europe.