The world in which we operate impacts our strategy

With the ever changing world we refined our long-term strategy to be responsive to global trends to remain relevant in the markets that we operate. The world is moving faster, consumer preferences are evolving and environmental pressures are increasing. By adopting digital solutions and becoming more agile in the way we operate, we will stay competitive and be able to meet the demands of our stakeholders.

The world map

World city populations

Nearly 60% of the world population is expected to be living in cities by 2035


World Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to continue to grow in the years to 2040, driven largely by greater prosperity in the developing world. An increase in the global population to more than 9,0 billion by 2040 from 7,5 billion in 2017. By 2030, the middle class is projected to account for nearly two-thirds of the population from around two-fifths in 2015. Together with the growth in population and rising living standards will be greater urbanisation: nearly 60% of the world's people are expected to live in cities by 2030, compared to 54% in 2015. These factors will lead to increased demand for chemicals, heating fuel, transportation and electricity.

Rising demand for energy and chemicals

Commercial transportation and chemicals will underpin growth in demand for global liquids*. Asia-Pacific will lead the increase in car ownership in non-OECD** countries, in turn supporting personal mobility-related energy demand across the world. However, gains in efficiency, improvements in technology and environmental pressures will keep energy demand in check. Within personal transport, improvements in engine efficiency will play a greater role than alternative technologies.

* Liquids are made up of crude oil, condensate, natural gas liquids and bitumen.
** Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Global middle-class growth – billions of people

Global middle-class growth


Although the world will increasingly use less energy to generate each unit of GDP, fossil fuels will likely continue to dominate the energy mix for some time to come. Increasing usage of fossil fuels will put pressure on emissions, and it will be important that clean technologies are pursued across the chemicals and energy industries. Certain technologies, like those used to develop electric vehicles, can assist with reducing localised pollution, but they are likely to have a lesser influence the global demand or the emissions picture significantly when compared to, for example, improvements in engine efficiency. Over time, demand for liquids for use as feedstocks for chemicals, lubricants and bitumen will become an increasingly important component of overall hydrocarbon demand. Although there is less scope to make significant efficiency gains with these products, environmental pressure is increasing on the use of some end-products, particularly single-use plastics and packaging.

We carefully consider how the world of energy is changing, how government policies are evolving and how consumer behaviour is responding. This is impacting energy and chemical demand, requiring companies like ours to hone their strategies to ensure their sustainability as the world continues to transition.

Mounting environmental pressure

Contributions to transport energy consumption growth – billion tons of oil equivalent

Contributions to transport energy consuption growth

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The pace of business is increasing with continuous change and adaptation required. Technologies are developing faster and faster, and rapid adoption of new third party technologies and/or selective innovation of new proprietary technologies and products are more important than ever to remain competitive and relevant. The advances in computing capability and new digital tools and platforms present opportunities to investigate the application of digitalisation tools and processes to improve the performance and robustness of our existing assets and businesses; to better design and deliver opportunities to drive our growth aspirations and to enhance our value proposition to our customers and shareholder. These opportunities to embrace digitalisation cover the full spectrum form advances in automation, big data analytics, predictive maintenance will be pursued with a clear focus on the best balance between cost, risk, value and return considerations.


Our strategic choices are informed by megatrends pointing towards global population growth and further urbanisation, shifts to even greater efficiency and performance, in all aspects of business, supported by digitalisation and sustained volatility in both crude oil prices and exchange rates.