BP to study impact of 3D printing on growth of oil industry

From the FT:

Consumption may fall as freight business suffers in shift to local manufacturing

BP is to study the potentially disruptive impact of 3D printing on oil markets if the rise of small-scale digital manufacturing reduces the need to ship goods around the world. The UK group’s chief economist, Spencer Dale, said his team was planning to look at whether 3D printing could unravel some of the complex global supply chains that have provided a strong source of growth for the oil industry in recent decades.

Freight transportation accounts for more than a fifth of total oil consumption, much of it involving long-distance shipments across oceans and continents. Some of this would disappear if 3D printing spurred a shift away from mass production back towards local manufacturing in the markets where products are sold.

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