Some of the world’s most powerful oil and gas leaders have dismissed the International Energy Agency’s proposal for an immediate halt to oil and gas investments to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, claiming that such a move would be disastrous for the global economy.
Last Thursday, Qatar’s Energy Minister, Saad Sherida Al Kaabi, said at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia: “When you deprive the business from additional investments, you have big spikes in prices”. He called the enthusiasm for a clean energy transition “dangerous.”
Qatar is pushing ahead with its $29 billion expansion of liquefied natural gas facilities, according to him, and will determine whether or not to bring in international partners before the end of the year.
When asked if oil is dead last Thursday, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, said that Saudi Arabia is rather boosting its production capacity. He referred to the IEA’s road map as a “la-la-land” scenario.
According to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, if the world follows the IEA’s road plan, which calls for immediate halting of new field investments to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, “the price for oil will go to, what, $200? Gas prices will skyrocket.”
Oil and gas, according to Novak, will be around for decades.
Even though most have yet to comment, it is clear that many, if not all, of the world’s largest oil-producing countries, are counting on the industry to continue for several years to come, as it is their primary source of revenue, and switching to cleaner energy so quickly may not be feasible.