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The Next Big Unknown For Oil Prices

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Saudi Aramco Chairman: Oil Industry Should Think In Decades

Energy transitions “take decades, even centuries” to complete, the chairman of the world’s largest oil company, Saudi Aramco, said at a conference on Monday, adding that the industry should continue to think in decades.  

Because complete energy transformations take such a long time to complete, the oil industry should continue to think in decades, Aramco’s chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan said at the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, as carried by Al Arabiya English.  

Al-Rumayyan’s remarks are the latest from the world’s biggest oil firm and the world’s most valuable company that the world will still need oil decades from now and that peak oil demand is just ‘hype.’

Analysts and top commodity traders see oil demand peaking at some point in the 2030s, but oil companies say that peak oil is nowhere in sight and there is still room to grow as global energy demand will continue to rise in the foreseeable future.

The oil industry, and especially Saudi Aramco, still sees itself as being relevant for decades to come, because the world will still need a lot of oil, because huge investments in new production will be needed just to replenish maturing oil fields, and because the road transportation sector is not the primary source of demand for oil.

Last year, Amin Nasser, the chief executive of Saudi Aramco, rebuked all those who predict the demise of the oil industry in the near future, saying that views that the world will soon run on anything but oil “are not based on logic and facts, and are formed mostly in response to pressure and hype.”

At the Oil and Money Conference in London in October 2019, Nasser talked about climate change and emissions, but noted in his speech that both new energy sources and existing sources of energy would contribute to the global energy mix in the foreseeable future.

“Without a doubt, oil and gas will be here for many decades to come,” Nasser said, and added: “But there can also be no question that climate change is among the most significant challenges facing humanity.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on January 14 2020 said:
    The view by Aramco’s Chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan that energy transitions take decades, even centuries is a logical one underpinned by the realities in the global oil market.

    These realities are: (1) there will be no a post-oil era throughout the 21st century and far beyond, (2) there will be no peak oil demand either, (3) an imminent energy transition is an illusion and (4) oil and gas will continue to be the core business of the global oil industry well into the future.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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