For example, until this century, energy producers had not yet figured out how to economically tap the vast amounts of oil and natural gas that were known to exist in shale and other “tight” rock formations. But by 2040, these unconventional and other technology-driven sources of oil and gas are expected to meet about one-fifth of the world's energy needs.
Natural gas is projected to continue to expand rapidly – surpassing coal as the world’s second-largest fuel in about a decade. We expect 40 percent of the projected growth in global energy demand from 2014 to 2040 will be met by natural gas.
Globally, natural gas is playing an increasingly important role in fulfilling energy demand. Natural gas has been proven as a reliable and cost-efficient energy source for power generation, and it is expected to be the fastest-growing major fuel source of the next two decades.
ExxonMobil Outlook for Energy