For years, Western countries have been pushing for an end to oil and gas, and now they are reaping what they sow, Qatar's energy minister told Sky News in an exclusive interview this week.
"There was a build-up of countries pushing for the [energy] transition in a hard way," Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said.
"[They pushed for] net-zero, moving to renewables, doing away with fossil fuels, and demonizing the oil and gas companies, [calling them] the bad guys. And [as a result] you don't have enough investment in the oil and gas sector."
Vilifying oil and gas producers has not helped either, Al-Kaabi added in comments that echo the opinion expressed by other Middle Eastern oil producers. Saudi Arabia's energy minister has repeatedly noted the lack of sufficient investment in new oil production capacity because of the energy transition and the rearrangement of priorities for the world's largest economies.
Yet renewable energy has yet to prove reliable enough to replace fossil fuel energy fully.
"The wind does not always blow, and the sun does not shine all the time… We are absolutely convinced that you can't achieve that transition [to renewables] without fossil fuels. And the best fossil fuel available to mankind is gas," Al-Kaabi told Sky News.
The energy minister was visiting the UK as a member of a delegation that arrived to sign a major strategic investment contract with the UK government worth over $10 billion.
The UK is a big energy consumer, and although it has substantial renewable power generation capacity, it still relies on natural gas for much of the energy it needs. Qatar, for its part, is one of the world's top LNG exporters and a very sought-after supplier in Europe these days.
"Unfortunately, it's a little bit painful because it will take time [and the price is] amplified by the Ukraine issue," Al-Kaabi said in response to questions about what Qatar could do to help bring UK energy prices down.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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