Getting rid of oil and gas is “far-fetched and unrealistic,” Saudi Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, said on Monday, adding that companies and governments should be thinking about how to reduce emissions from fossil fuels instead.
“Let’s not focus on the fuel of choice but rather how we can mitigate and adapt to these realities without showing any preferences,” Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said at the Singapore Energy Summit, as carried by Reuters.
Saudi Arabia and its oil giant Aramco continue to say that peak oil demand is still nowhere in sight and that the world will need oil and gas for the foreseeable future, regardless of estimates by analysts and even OPEC that global oil demand will start to plateau and decline at some point in the late 2030s.
Aramco doesn’t fear peak oil demand as it doubles down on boosting oil production in the long term to beat its competitors, many of which are pledging significant investments in low-carbon energy.
In a statement to Reuters earlier this month, Aramco said:
“We expect oil demand growth to continue in the long term, driven by rising populations and economic growth. Fuels and petrochemicals will support demand growth … speculation about an imminent peak in oil demand is simply not consistent with the realities of oil consumption.”
Globally, we may have passed peak oil demand last year, as fuel consumption may never recover from the pandemic-inflicted decline, BP said in its annual outlook last month.
Aramco, however, has been dismissing for years the notion of peak oil demand, especially forecasts that it could occur before 2040.
At the beginning of 2020, before COVID-19 upended all forecasts, Aramco’s chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan said that energy transitions “take decades, even centuries” to complete, and the industry should continue to think in decades.
Speaking at the Singapore forum today, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that the current number-one fear on the global market was the second wave of coronavirus cases in the world.