At the opening of the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) 2022, which will be held in Riyadh from February 20-23, the Saudi energy minister announced a continuation of investment in oil and gas production - coupled with an increase in production capacity ...
At the opening of the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) 2022, which will be held Feb. 20-23 in Riyadh, the Saudi energy minister announced a continuation of investment in oil and gas production - coupled with an increase in production capacity. A sharp drop in investment, he said, would jeopardize energy security. There is a risk, he said, that the world would not be able to produce the quantities of energy needed for economic recovery.
Insufficient investment would hurt the interests of energy consumers and create challenges for policymakers in the face of rising prices and growing concerns about supply shortages. Campaigns directed against investment in the oil and gas sector would have a negative impact on the global economy and the prosperity of the population, he said, as is now evident. These statements can also be understood as a replica of the statement by the Executive Director of the IEA, Fatih Birol. When he presented the World Energy Outlook 2021 last October, he pointed out that future investments in fossil energies would be subject to considerable loss potential. This applies in particular to developments according to the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario. In this scenario, which includes compliance with the Paris climate goals as a target, global demand for oil and gas is already declining by 2030 and at an accelerated rate thereafter, according to the IEA's model calculations, so there is no need to develop new oil and gas fields.
In contrast, the Saudi energy minister claimed that the future of energy supply must be based on three pillars: Securing the necessary supply, continued economic development using reliable energy sources, and climate protection. "Since last summer, we have developed a careful and balanced plan to restore supply to meet the growing needs of the recovering global economy," he said, adding that the frequency of OPEC Plus meetings demonstrates a serious commitment to transparently manage dynamic and unpredictable events.
On sustainability, the minister said the energy transition is accelerating, but focusing on only certain elements of this transformation, such as renewable or alternative energy, would be another fatal mistake. Energy security, he said, requires that the world continue to use all energy options, including hydrocarbon resources, which have been a key driver of economic development for centuries. At the core of this strategy, he said, is the challenge of providing hydrocarbons while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. "Technology is an essential pillar in meeting this challenge," he noted. The minister reiterated that innovative technology will be critical to implementing the Green Saudi Initiative to achieve the goal of meeting half of domestic electricity demand from renewable energy sources by 2030 and achieving greenhouse gas neutrality by 2060.
The level of ambition, particularly in relation to the 2030 target year, becomes clear when one realizes that in 2020, of Saudi Arabia's total electricity generation, 39.0 percent was based on oil, 60.7 percent on natural gas, and 0.3 percent on renewables.