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Oil, gas key to world energy for ‘decades to come’: Saudi Aramco

Oil, gas key to world energy for ‘decades to come’: Saudi Aramco thumbnail

Oil major bosses and energy ministers are meeting at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul, with the outlook clouded by the low price of crude oil, currently trading at around US$45 a barrel.

Amin al-Nasser, Chief Executive of state oil company Saudi Aramco. (ERIC PIERMONT/AFP)

ISTANBUL: Oil and gas will remain central to the world’s supply of energy for decades to come, the chief executive of giant producer Saudi Aramco said on Monday (Jul 10), urging market players to ensure energy security by bolstering faltering investment.

Oil major bosses and energy ministers are meeting at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul, with the outlook clouded by the low price of crude oil, currently trading at around US$45 a barrel compared with a peak of over US$145 in 2008.

This has driven down investment to record lows, while oil majors are also grappling with the new importance of unconventional sources like shale and renewables.

The decision announced last week by Volvo to phase out production of petrol-only cars from 2019 in favour of electric has also sent ripples of concern around the industry.

The chief of the Saudi Arabian energy giant, Amin Nasser, said that there is “widespread agreement” that even as the world moves to greater use of renewables over fossil fuels, “petroleum will continue to be the heart of the energy mix.”

He said that while “expectations for alternatives are through the roof,” history shows that energy transitions to different sources tend to be “long and complex processes”.

“The renewables still have major challenges, they do not compete with oil. It takes a long time for new fuels to seize market share,” he said, noting that electric cars would also still need time to take off.

With the global economy forecast to grow sharply as populations increase, he said it is a “mistaken assumption that alternatives will be rapidly deployed”.

“Rising demand for all sources of energy – with oil and gas at the heart of the mix – will be the reality for decades to come,” he said.


But he warned that the tens of billions of dollars lost in deferred and cancelled investment since the current spate of low oil prices began risked harming consumers in the long-run.

“Financial investors are shying away from making much-needed investment,” Nasser said, warning that without higher investment levels “energy transition and energy security may be fatally compromised.”

“New discoveries are also on a major downward trend,” Nasser added, urging industry players to create a “compelling narrative” for increased investment.

The downturn has blown a major hole in the budgets of key OPEC and non-OPEC producers, reliant on robust oil prices for healthy finances.

Nasser confirmed that to counter the sliding investment trend, Saudi Aramco plans to invest some US$300 billion in the coming years and was also looking at diversifying its own business.

“The continuing market volatility is a powerful reminder that we must transform our own business model,” he said.

Nasser said that by 2030 Saudi Arabia should be “nothing less than a powerhouse” for solar power and Aramco would play a full part in this.

The chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, Ben van Beurden, said the sector faced a huge challenge in the years to come, needing to meet “higher energy demands for a growing population” while also reducing greenhouse emissions in line with the Paris Agreement on combating climate change.

He hailed the fact there have already been “huge advances” in the field of renewables, with costs predicted to fall further for wind and solar energy.


6 Comments on "Oil, gas key to world energy for ‘decades to come’: Saudi Aramco"

  1. MASTERMIND on Mon, 10th Jul 2017 4:04 pm 

    The outlook for oil supplies is “increasingly worrying,” with about $1 trillion in investments lost during the current industry downturn and fewer new deposits being discovered, Nasser said at a conference in Istanbul. Some estimates suggest that at least 20 million barrels a day of new output is needed over the next five years to offset rising oil demand and the natural decline of developed fields, he said Monday.

  2. bobinget on Mon, 10th Jul 2017 6:07 pm 

    Too much oil reminds a person of Pakistan.
    Spending billions on flood control until the day when too rapidly melting glaciers finally disappear.
    Now, expensive flood control, entirely useless as a nation face drought.
    This is Peak oil illustrated.

  3. bobinget on Mon, 10th Jul 2017 6:38 pm 

    Instead of carefully watching consumer consumption, oil mavins restrict themselves to ‘days to cover’ or rig counts for one thousand barrel P/d shale wells on life support.
    Instead, we should be watching declines in 100,000 B p/d GOM wells.

    Instead of counting oil tankers larding on speculative crude into already crowded storage,
    we should be keeping Venezuela from falling into
    Chinese paws. Instead of overflying South China Sea phony islands, we could be wondering whats so precious under that sea that China is willing to risk war to protect.

    We should be wondering why US government sold
    so much SPR oil during the dip crude prices?

    Did we need the money that badly?
    Or, were we TRYING to keep gasoline prices low for political reasons? The only emergency we faced was bankrupting more North American producers with artificially low gasoline prices.

    China raped Africa for its oil just as Africa tried to grow. By killing off just prices, China, Europe, USA. are ripped off African and South American crude
    knowing supply was highly limited and super shortages were sure to follow. Launching fake news missiles around “Glut” while at the same time ignoring depletion, rapidly rising consumption should be criminally actionable.

  4. Cloggie on Wed, 12th Jul 2017 2:31 am 

    CEO Aramco says that his business will be on top for the coming decades. No surprises here. And in many parts of the world that will indeed be the case. But somewhere in that period we will inevitably see peak oil demand happening.

    In Europe we are already long past peak oil (demand):

    Oil consumption in Europe will be largely gone by 2030 or merely 13 years from now, when many will be driving electric from renewable energy, much of it from the North Sea.

    Oil, that’s for the global slow lane. Like Canada (green fakers comical duo TalmudTurk & DieselMouse):

    Given the policy and technology assumptions of this analysis, fossil fuels remain the primary source of energy in Canada over the projection period. This increase in fossil fuel consumption implies that GHG emissions will increase over the projection period, consistent with the most recent GHG emission projections from Environment and Climate Change Canada.

  5. Cloggie on Wed, 12th Jul 2017 3:02 am 

    How to get rid of oil?

    From my Outlook inbox email traffic from the site MarineTraffic:

    AEOLUS departed from Port BELFAST at 2017-07-09 07:42 Local Time (2017-07-09 06:42 UTC)

    AEOLUS arrived at Port BELFAST at 2017-07-08 16:46 Local Time (2017-07-08 15:46 UTC)

    AEOLUS arrived at Port BELFAST at 2017-07-05 03:59 Local Time (2017-07-05 02:59 UTC)

    AEOLUS arrived at Port BELFAST at 2017-06-14 11:41 Local Time (2017-06-14 10:41 UTC)

    AEOLUS departed from Port BELFAST at 2017-06-12 02:33 Local Time (2017-06-12 01:33 UTC)

    AEOLUS arrived at Port BELFAST at 2017-06-10 14:06 Local Time (2017-06-10 13:06 UTC)

    AEOLUS departed from Port BELFAST at 2017-06-07 15:53 Local Time (2017-06-07 14:53 UTC)

    AEOLUS arrived at Port BELFAST at 2017-06-06 21:09 Local Time (2017-06-06 20:09 UTC)

    As a reminder of what an “Aeolus” is:

    The Aeolus can carry 4 monopiles at a time and install them in less than 4 days. Then the ship needs a day or so to sail back to port (here Belfast) and load 4 new monopiles.

    Mind you, there are perhaps 10 of these ships operating in European waters, each installing 5 MW per day of 50 MW together or a power station of 1.5 GW (nameplate) every single month.

    Early next year the Aeolus will undergo an upgrade to be able to carry heavier loads and switch from 5 to 8 MW turbine installation capacity:

    this is how you get rid of oil in a decade or two.

  6. Kenz300 on Sat, 15th Jul 2017 10:00 am 

    Investments in fossil fuels are a fools game.

    Look how much money was lost by those investments in coal.

    Expensive new fossil fuels investments will not be able to get funding as investors look to safer, cleaner and cheaper wind and solar power.

    Banks are starting to pull back from fossil fuel funding.

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