President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, Amin bin Hassan Nasser, emphasized the need for a more reliable energy transition plan, in a keynote speech on Tuesday at the Schlumberger Digital Forum.
In his speech, Nasser underlined the importance of achieving a new global consensus of views and positions, outlining three strategic axes: “Recognition by policy makers and other stakeholders that supplies of ample and affordable conventional energy are still required over the long term; further reductions in the carbon footprint of conventional energy, and greater efficiency of energy use, with technology enabling both; and new, lower carbon energy, steadily complementing proven conventional sources.”
Highlighting the consequences of not having a reliable and balanced plan for energy transformation, he said: “The energy transition plan has been undermined by unrealistic scenarios and flawed assumptions because they have been mistakenly perceived as facts. For example, one scenario led many to assume that major oil use sectors would switch to alternatives almost overnight, and therefore oil demand would never return to pre-Covid levels.”
He continued: “Perhaps most damaging of all was the idea that contingency planning could be safely ignored… Because when you shame oil and gas investors, dismantle oil-and coal-fired power plants, fail to diversify energy supplies (especially gas), oppose LNG receiving terminals, and reject nuclear power, your transition plan had better be right.”
On the importance of increasing investment in the oil and gas sector, the CEO of Saudi Aramco expressed concern, as oil and gas investments have declined significantly during the past ten years.
“This situation is not being helped by overly short-term demand factors dominating the debate. Even with strong economic headwinds, global oil demand is still fairly healthy today. But when the global economy recovers, we can expect demand to rebound further, eliminating the little spare oil production capacity out there. And by the time the world wakes up to these blind spots, it may be too late to change course,” Nasser explained.
He emphasized the need for the world to unite behind a new and credible energy transformation plan, saying: “As the pain of the energy crisis sadly intensifies, people around the world are desperate for help. In my view, the best help that policy makers and every stakeholder can offer is to unite the world around a much more credible new transition plan, driving progress on the three strategic pillars I have outlined this morning.”
He concluded: “The new plan will not be perfect. In life, nothing ever is. But that is how we deliver a more secure and more sustainable energy future, with our industry still at its heart. That is how we can ease people’s pain. And that is how spring will come again.”