The CEO of oil giant Saudi Aramco said on Thursday that the world would still be consuming upwards of 100 million barrels of oil per day in two decades, even as climate activists call for a halt to fossil fuel production.
Speaking about his company’s 2040 scenario planning, Amin H Nasser said that Saudi Aramco would remain a major player in the oil sector.
“We will be in a higher position compared to now when it comes to [oil] production,” Nasser said.
“Our belief is that it is going to continue at 100 million barrels [a day],” he said in response to a question about future oil consumption. “There are a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration when you view demand over the long term.”
While activists such as Greta Thunberg have called for a halt to fossil fuel production in order to avert a global climate catastrophe, demand for oil (CL=F) and gas continues to grow.
Global oil consumption hit 100 million barrels per day in October 2018, more than twice what it was 50 years prior.
Nasser pointed to the comparatively low carbon emissions resulting from Saudi Aramco’s oil production processes, which he described as “way below” average.
He said that Saudi Aramco would remain a major player even if oil production decreased because of its “competitive edge.”
“You need to consider what is happening in the world,” he said, pointing to 2 billion in predicted population growth and billions who would shift from other energy sources to oil.
“If you take that all and put it into demand and more people coming to the middle class over the long term, there will be additional demand,” Nasser said.
“And the only way you can meet it is by making sure you continue to provide affordable, reliable, ample energy to the rest of the world.”
To meet the demand, Nasser acknowledged that the world will need to use traditional energy sources such as oil, as well as alternative fuels and renewable energy.
“If you look at renewables and electrification and alternatives, it will increase by 2040 definitely. It will be at a much higher level.”