Aramco chief executive says ambition for alternative energy resources ‘still far from reality’

Saudi Aramco chief executive Amin Nasser said the global energy crisis had been accelerated by the Ukraine crisis, with much to blame on a flawed energy transition that discouraged oil and gas investment.

Nasser told the CERAWeek conference in Houston on Tuesday that “the global energy transition process is still dominated by [a] core group” — often without understanding the energy sector and the scale and complexity of the challenges.

“If alternative energy sources could have shouldered the burden, they would have. But ambition is still far from reality,” he said.

Nasser noted that the global crisis exposes the mixed signals sent by policymakers to the oil and gas industry as part of the energy transition.

“As oil and gas investment is discouraged, demands are being placed on our industry to increase production,” he said.

Nasser stressed that global oil production capacity available to alleviate supply shortages remains limited, saying there are about 2 million barrels, or 2% of global demand, of what he described as an “effective reserve capacity”.

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He noted that “all energy resources will be needed to sustain a successful transition”, and that demonizing the oil and gas industry is not helping to alleviate the global energy crisis.

“There are significant gaps and real challenges [with transition]to which only our industry can contribute,” he added.

Nasser said the world needs “consensus on the critical role of low-emission oil and gas, working side-by-side with alternatives, to meet growing global energy demand and achieve zero ambitions.” net”.

“We need to embrace new uses for hydrocarbons such as blue hydrogen combined with technologies such as CCUS, without which net zero is unlikely to be achieved,” he said.

Nasser, on several occasions in the past, has criticized the ongoing global transition process, pointing out the shortcomings he sees.

In December, he said that unless glaring gaps are addressed in the ongoing energy transition strategy, “the chaos in the industry will only escalate.”

The Saudi state-controlled company is spending billions of dollars to boost its oil production capacity to 13 million barrels a day, but has also outlined an ambitious plan to achieve net-zero scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2050.

Nasser believes that new and existing energy sources, including oil and gas, will both have to run in parallel for much longer.