Nasser speaking at CERAWeek - CERAWeek by S&P Global

With the current transition strategy visibly failing on most fronts owing to its collision with five hard realities, the world needs a new, realistic pathway for the energy transition that includes oil and gas, said the top official of Saudi oil giant Aramco.

These hard realities include the need to reset global efforts to meet climate ambitions, the inability of alternatives so far to displace hydrocarbons at scale, the costs associated with alternatives, energy requirements of the Global South, and the potential for further emissions reductions from hydrocarbons, stated Amin Nasser, the Aramco President & CEO, in his keynote speech at CERAWeek by S&P Global 2024 in Houston, US.

CERAWeek is an annual conference that gathers leaders, ministers, public-policy officials and CEOs from around the world to share insights, innovative ideas and solutions to energy, climate and environmental challenges.

More than 8,000 representatives of the energy, utilities, automotive, manufacturing, policy, financial, and technology fields attend CERAWeek, which features more than 1,400 expert speakers.

On reducing emissions from oil and gas, Nasser said: 'We should abandon the fantasy of phasing out oil and gas and instead invest in them adequately, reflecting realistic demand assumptions. We should ramp up our efforts to reduce carbon emissions, aggressively improve efficiency, and introduce lower carbon solutions.'

'And we should phase in new energy sources and technologies when they are genuinely ready, economically competitive, and with the right infrastructure,' he stated.

On the energy transition’s impact on consumers, Nasser said: 'As the current transition strategy increasingly impacts the majority, not just a tiny minority, consumers around the world are sending powerful messages that can no longer be ignored.'

'We know they want energy with lower emissions, and rightly so. But many are struggling to afford the energy they need. And they worry about ample and reliable supply, which the recent energy crisis showed is not guaranteed… Unfortunately, the current transition strategy overlooks these broader messages from consumers. It focuses almost exclusively on replacing hydrocarbons with alternatives, more on sources than on reducing emissions,' he stated.

On the demand outlook for hydrocarbons, the Aramco chief said: 'Despite the world investing more than $9.5 trillion on energy transition over the past two decades, alternatives have been unable to displace hydrocarbons at scale… Global oil demand is expected to reach an all-time high in the second half of this year…'

'Likewise, gas remains a mainstay of global energy, growing by about almost 70 per cent since the start of the century… All this strengthens the view that peak oil and gas is unlikely for some time to come,' he added.