Demand Upturn Confirmed Amid New Constraints for Energy Industries: 1988-89 in Review

  • Jean-Marie Martin


World energy markets in1988-89 were marked by sustained growth in demand for all types of energy. The petroleum industry participated in this general growth- oil demand was the main beneficiary in Japan and the developing Asian countries. This favourable market situation has limited the downward pressure on prices which would otherwise have arisen from over-production in some Gulf countries, relative to their OPEC quotas, since Spring1989. Energy industries have been subject to a reawakening: oil exploration has been revived, reorganization of the coal industry is well under way, the electricity industry is pursuing the potential of gas turbines. Despite continued obstacles in the nuclear industry, pressure from public opinion to limit C02emissions has been seen as a favourable sign by proponents of nuclear power. Energy markets show signs of new flexibility, but they also face new sources of rigidity due to environmental constraints and the energy needs of developing countries.