OPEC chief says economy without oil 'wrong, unrealistic'

The head of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has poured cold water on the idea of a rapid and complete departure from oil. Haitham Al Ghais, OPEC Secretary General, argued that abandoning oil entirely is both "wrong" and "unrealstic" due to its deeply embedded role in global energy infrastructure.

Al Ghais' comments come amidst growing pressure to transition towards renewable energy sources to combat climate change. However, he highlights the critical role oil still plays, accounting for roughly 31% of the world's energy mix. He emphasizes oil's status as the "lifeblood of modern life," powering various sectors and underpinning economic activity across the globe.

The OPEC chief further challenges recent predictions of a peak in global oil demand. He points to the rebounding post-pandemic economy, particularly in non-OECD countries, as a key driver for continued oil consumption. According to Al Ghais, projections made during the COVID-19 lockdowns suggesting a permanent decline in oil demand have proven inaccurate. Instead, he argues, data from 2024 indicates record-breaking levels of oil consumption.

Al Ghais acknowledges the need for a transition towards cleaner energy sources. However, he emphasizes the importance of a measured and balanced approach. He highlights OPEC's commitment to providing the world with "secure, stable and environmentally friendly energy." This includes investments in renewable energy sectors alongside the oil industry. Additionally, Al Ghais emphasizes the role of technological advancements in reducing emissions associated with oil production and use.

One key argument Al Ghais makes is the practical difficulty of an immediate oil-free future. He argues that oil is not only a fuel source but also a crucial component in the manufacturing of renewable energy technologies like wind turbines and solar panels. A complete abandonment of oil, he suggests, would disrupt the very production chain needed to scale up renewable energy solutions.

The OPEC chief's comments resonate with recent statements from industry leaders. Last week, Aramco CEO Amin H. Nasser called for a "realistic pathway" for the energy transition, acknowledging the limitations of an overly-ambitious shift away from oil and gas.

The debate surrounding the future of oil is likely to continue. While advocates for rapid decarbonization push for a swift shift away from fossil fuels, OPEC and industry leaders argue for a more measured approach that acknowledges the ongoing necessity of oil alongside the development of clean energy alternatives.

Previous Article Next Article

© 2024 Hyphen Digital Network Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved. About Us | Contact Us | Cookies | Privacy Policy | Advertise on Arabian Post | Submit Press Release | System Status | AP on Brandfetch