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IEA 'World Energy Outlook': Bullish for U.S., Bearish for Europe

This year's International Energy Agency "World Energy Outlook" report projects six major trends for the future of the global energy market. Overall, it is bullish for the United States and bearish for Europe. Based on the findings, Big Oil stocks such as Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A) and Petroleo Brasilerio (PBR), among others, should be rewarding for long term investors.

While the IEA sees the United States being the top oil producer by 2015 due to fracking, that success will not be experienced around the world. As the IEA notes, "good geology alone is not sufficient to replicate the U.S. experience. "According to a National Geographic article, "Outside of the United States, there's neither the legal environment nor the oil services industry capacity to make shale oil and gas development worth the cost. More than 6,000 wells were drilled for unconventional oil in the United States and Canada in 2012, and only 100 outside of North America."

In what should be a surprise to no one, the IEA sees fossil fuels continuing to dominate the global energy market. Renewable energy production is expected to double by 2035. But that will only result in fossil fuels providing for 75% of the world's energy, down from 82% today.

Of the world's energy needs, two-thirds of the growth will come from Asia.

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The IEA expects demand for oil to increase to 111 million barrels a day by 2035, a 27% increase. Fully two-thirds of that will emanate from Asian markets. China will still lead in consumption. But "the volumetric growth in Indian demand (between 2020 and 2035) is larger than that of China," predicts the IEA.

Trucks are leading the way in the demand for fuel from motor vehicles.

The IEA expects diesel demand to grow three times faster than demand for gasoline. Transportation is one of two major sectors (petrochemicals being the other) that will be driving future energy demand, which is bullish for Toyota Motor (TMC) and Ford (F), as each is strong in the truck market.

For the beleaguered shareholders of Petroleo Brasilerio, which declined by more than 20% over the last year, the IEA predicts that "Brazil's oil production will triple to 6 million barrels per day by 2035, accounting for one-third of the net growth in global oil production and making the South American nation the world's sixth-largest oil producer." That will result from "massive deepwater oil resources unearthed by new seismic technologies" for which Brazil is a global leader."

In terms of trailing the rest of the world, European economic growth will continue to be hampered by energy imports."The burden of costly fossil fuel imports will fall heavily on the European Union in the years ahead," portends the IEA.That will reduce gross domestic product on the continent by 2.3%. In addition, the price of natural gas in the European Union is now triple the price in the United States, leaving industries that consumer a great deal of energy such as iron, steel, petrochemicals and concrete at a great disadvantage to American competitors such as DuPont (DD) and Dow Chemical (DOW).

There are certainly no great revelations in the new World Energy Outlook from the IEA.

But it does offer six very useful trends for investors to factor into buy and sell orders. Based on those, American manufacturers, particularly petrochemical giants such as Dow Chemical and DuPont, will be operating at a significant competitive advantage due to the lower cost of fuel as a result of the success of fracking in the United States. Big Oil firms, although down in recent market action, will still be dominant in the global energy sector due to the primacy of fossil fuels. The expectations that global energy demand will increase is certainly a bullish overall outlook as that will result from greater economic growth around the world.

At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Jonathan Yates is a financial writer who has had thousands of articles appear in periodicals and Web sites such as TheStreet, Newsweek, The Washington Post and many others. He has degrees from Harvard University, Georgetown University Law Center and The Johns Hopkins University.

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