Oil companies defend their place in Houston's energy future
< p class="sc-v64krj-0 dlqbmr">The CEO of the American oil company Chevron, Mike Wirth, opened the energy world conference CERAWeek by S&P Global in Houston, Texas.
At a conference in Houston, Texas, oil companies reported the tightrope game they have been facing since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Between environmental pressure, pressure to keep energy at an acceptable cost and uncertainty about the future, several of them pleaded for the essential role of hydrocarbons and for the transition not to be accelerated at their expense.< /p>
The President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the American company Chevron, Mike Wirth, set the tone from the opening speech of the CERAWeek conference by S&P Global. An orderly transition means that markets are supplied, the economy is competitive, and energy remains affordable for consumers. […] A disorganized transition could be painful and chaotic, he claimed.
Over 7,500 people are in attendance at this conference, which brings together the CEOs of the world's largest oil and gas companies.
We must beware of prematurely ending our current system to turn to a system that does not yet exist on a large scale.
The CEO of the Malaysian company Petronas, Tengku Muhammad Taufik, made the same observation a few minutes later. The transition to a lower carbon economy will require more extraction of rare minerals. We are not ready, he said.
We cannot get rid of oil and gas for at least the next two to three decades, and even then By then [the sector] will still represent 30-40% of the energy mix, he added.
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia weighs in these analyses. A year after the start of the war, the CEO of Chevron believes that Europe will never again be dependent on Russian natural gas supplies, which has notably propelled the production of liquefied natural gas in the United States. As for the oil market, he believes that the balance between supply and demand is fragile.
The issue of secure supply remains central, according to the CEO of Canadian oil company Cenovus, Alex Pourbaix. There is also a lot more pragmatism and realism in the face of the challenges of decarbonization. This is going to take much longer than expected, and the obstacles are much greater than expected.
Even if the hydrocarbon companies are on friendly ground at this conference, they did not escape questions about their climate commitments.
Asked about the immense profits that these oil companies recorded last year, Mike Wirth evaded the question. According to him, his business hasn't changed the way it operates, it's more attention that has increased.
Borrowing the famous phrase Houston, we have a problem, the president-elect of the next climate conference, which will take place in the United Arab Emirates, Ahmed Al Jaber, also urged the oil companies to do more. The oil and gas sector must up its game, said the man who is also CEO of the Emirati giant ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company).
“Do more, do it faster, and be more efficient. ”
— Ahmed Al Jaber, President-Elect of COP28
The presence of oil companies at the last COP had been criticized, but the President-Elect of COP28 told them rather reached out and asked to collaborate to achieve global climate ambitions.