Oil and gas industry should not be stigmatised in climate change debate, Opec leaders say

The oil and gas industry should not be stigmatised in the climate debate and the sector has a role to play for an orderly energy transition, Reuters reported, quoting Opec leaders attending a climate event in Saudi Arabia.

Energy ministers from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iraq, the three largest members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), have gathered in the Saudi capital Riyadh for the UN Mena Climate Week.

Taking place in Riyadh from October 8 to 12 and hosted by Saudi Arabia, the discussions at Mena Climate Week will feed into the year-end UN Climate Change conference (Cop28) in Dubai.

“The three of us here as major hydrocarbon producers also have a responsibility to the world to provide the transition with enough hydrocarbon resources to make sure we are transitioning at a responsibly priced manner,” Reuters quoted Suhail Al Mazrouei, the UAE’s Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, as saying on a panel that brought the three countries together.

“We cannot stop using the sources of energy we use today before we secure alternative, sustainable sources of energy for the future,” Saudi news agency SPA reported, quoting the minister.

Oil companies have come in for criticism for not moving fast enough on climate targets as chronic underinvestment in the oil and gas sector adds to crude market volatility.

The industry will need to take “multiple pathways” when it comes to the energy transition, heads of global oil and gas majors said at the Adipec 2023 recently.

Leaders of global energy heads have been urging governments to invest more in oil and gas projects at a time of energy crisis, which has been exacerbated by the Ukraine war.


Oil and gas upstream capital expenditure rose by 39 per cent to $499 billion last year, the highest level since 2014, the International Energy Forum said.

However, annual upstream spending needs to increase to $640 billion by 2030 to ensure adequate supplies, the IEF said.

Oil and gas is “very much needed” in the world and can continue to be produced, if you are producing in a way that’s better, Vicki Hollub, chief executive of Occidental Petroleum, said during a panel at Adipec 2023.

The world must increase clean energy spending from the $1.8 trillion expected in 2023 to $4.5 trillion per year by the start of the next decade to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the International Energy Agency said.

Countries also need to triple the global installed renewables energy capacity to 11,000 gigawatts by the end of the decade, the agency added.

The UAE will host the Cop28 climate summit in Dubai between November 30 and December 12, where countries will assess where they stand with regards to climate goals as part of a process called the global stocktake.

“Cop28 will deliver transformational outcomes for this region, and for the world,” Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Cop28 president-designate and UAE special envoy on climate change, said at the Mena Climate Week event on Sunday, according to Reuters.

“We have had 27 Cops, and you might be surprised to learn that 17 of them have been hosted in fossil fuel-producing nations,” said Mr Al Jaber, who is also the managing director and group chief executive of Adnoc.


“The fact is, energy is fundamental to everyone, everywhere.”

He said at the Adipec conference last week that the oil and gas industry is essential to solving current global energy challenges, including playing a “critical” role in scaling up renewable energy.

“Everyone must be at the table to make the transformational progress needed,” Dr Al Jaber told Adipec.

“No other industry has the same ability to manage [the] complexity, depth of knowledge, capital, technology and scale that is needed for the task at hand.”

“This industry can and must help to drive the solutions. For too long, this industry has been viewed as part of the problem, that it is not doing enough and, in some cases, even blocking progress,” he added.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman also said the industry should not be stigmatised and the world still needed hydrocarbons, Reuters reported.

“There is a case for us to be in oil and gas,” he told the Mena Climate Week event.

Source: https://www.thenationalnews.com/