International experts: Saudi Arabia is the best oil producer and one of the world’s lowest carbon emitters


International experts in the energy sector confirmed that Saudi Arabia’s vast capabilities and good infrastructure spending made it the best oil producer, noting that it is one of the world’s lowest carbon emitters.
This came during a virtual seminar held by the Energy Economics Association, under the title “Transformations in the global energy system and its impact on oil-producing countries”, with the participation of a number of Saudi and international energy experts.
Adam Sieminsky, head of the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC), said, “Saudi Arabia has a good vision in the field of energy transformation, and has succeeded in keeping pace with international transformations with high efficiency.”
Siemensky stressed the depth of international cooperation with the Saudi side in the field of energy and with many Gulf countries and international agencies concerned with energy.
For his part, Majid Monef, head of the Saudi Energy Economics Association, explained that the issue of energy transformations imposes itself strongly on the international community, pointing out that the association continues to discuss developments in this field and engage with experts to provide good insights.
While Dr. Bassam Fattouh, director of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, said, “There are doubts about demand due to energy transformations and environmental policies, which renewed talk about peak oil demand,” pointing to the sensitivity of oil projects to these changes.
He pointed out that many international studies focus on peak demand, but there is no consensus on the timing, as there is a continuous increase in the shares of gas and renewable energy resources in the global energy mix, pointing to the focus of new projects on climate policies.
He stressed the existence of ambitious plans to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050, stressing the need to develop the appropriate business model to match these transformations, while providing the appropriate financing.
He pointed out that oil export revenues are characterized by instability and vulnerability to price fluctuations and geopolitical factors, and that achieving energy diversification requires investments in human resources, education, the business environment and raising obstacles to the work of the private sector.
He stated that oil and gas projects are still very profitable, and raising efficiency in traditional resources has become an inevitable option to achieve competitiveness and continuity in global markets, pointing to the need to pay attention to modernization policies and develop production strategies in the long term, as some countries impose high taxes on carbon consumption. However, the growth in petrochemical consumption is rapid.
He stressed that the competition in the future will be on reducing emissions, improving efficiency and diversifying the energy mix, noting that Saudi Arabia is the best producer of crude oil because of its extensive investment capabilities and good spending on infrastructure, and that the future will be better for those who enjoy highly competitive capabilities in production and at low costs.
He noted the producers’ commitment to the Paris Agreement and work to harmonize with international climate standards and the need for producers to use advanced technologies to push the industry to standards of modernity and development, stressing the importance of partnership and continuous coordination between producers and consumers to achieve the interest of industry stability and development.
For his part, Jason Bordoff, head of the Center for Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, said, “The energy transition is a difficult and time-consuming task, and it is better to use the term energy addition rather than energy transformation, meaning that the world will not abandon carbohydrates,” noting that energy consumption is growing. Significantly and constitutes a large percentage of the national product over the past three years, despite the pandemic crisis.
He pointed to the importance of the voluntary cuts made by Saudi Arabia as a result of the epidemic crisis, as it was keen to reduce its production in order to support market stability, while in return we found wide and successive increases from countries outside “OPEC”.
He noted the need for “OPEC +” to open the production taps in the coming period to push the market towards balance, noting the need to reduce carbon emissions from 1 to 2 billion tons each year from 2020 to 2030 to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
He added that “for any barrels of oil to be able to compete, its producers must succeed in reducing carbon emissions,” stressing that Saudi Arabia is one of the countries in the world with the lowest carbon emissions.
He pointed out that fears of tight supply dominate the market, especially among US producers, due to pressures to reduce carbon, and cautioned new investments in upstream projects.
For her part, Laila Ben Ali, chief economist at the World Energy Forum, said, “There is a state of lack of investments in oil and gas due to the pandemic crisis that erupted last year and the presence of widespread pressure on producers, and therefore they focus on short-term projects,” noting that producers They are focusing on enhancing profitability for shareholders since prices remarkably recovered this year, expecting to achieve broader profits for energy companies in the next ten years.
She noted that demand risks are still wide, in addition to the political developments affecting the stability of the oil market, and that many investors, especially from the private sector, are gradually withdrawing from the industry.
She added, “The question now is, who is able to invest in the industry in the current circumstances, especially since capital efficiency and profitability are the keys to investing in the future and petrochemicals are still growing strongly despite the pandemic crisis?”
She stressed that achieving zero carbon in the Middle East is a task that requires great efforts to maintain development rates and provide consumers’ needs for electricity and heavy industries, stressing the importance of international cooperation in reducing methane emissions and in carbon capture and storage projects.
She explained that investors are always looking for profit, transparency in the business environment and incentives, noting the need to provide the appropriate environment to encourage investment in clean energy and reduce emissions.
In turn, Nayef Al-Mishil, Undersecretary of the Saudi Ministry of Energy for Policy and Planning, stated that Saudi Arabia has achieved success through a long journey in the field of energy transformation by relying on many effective programs and initiatives in this field.
He pointed out that Saudi Arabia is dealing with climate challenges with a distinct and high-performance policy that focuses on raising efficiency based on the conviction of the danger of emissions while expanding reliance on renewable energy through conscious transformation programs that lead to achieving the level of zero emissions.
He added that “carbon is not an enemy, but it is an opportunity that can be exploited in recycling operations, which is achieved by the Saudi circular economy program, as there are more than 180 initiatives in this regard in Saudi Arabia.”
And he indicated that the framework depends on adapting technology in energy transformation programs, with the continued role of hydrocarbons in the energy mix, noting that Saudi Arabia’s initiatives in the energy sector focus on sustainable development, especially the circular carbon economy and achieving energy security.
For his part, Ahmed Al-Khuwaiter, director of technology at Aramco, explained that hydrocarbons will continue to play a major role in the energy mix, especially for the purposes of generating electricity, noting that the energy transition witnesses many challenges and hydrocarbons cannot be removed from the mix in any way.
He stressed the importance of a good response and interaction with programs to raise efficiency, pointing to the need to enhance investments in all energy resources while working hard to reduce emissions and achieve integration and integration between renewable and traditional resources.
He noted the need to pay attention to long-term investments in reducing emissions, noting the continuous rise in petrochemical demand until 2040 to 5.6 percent, instead of a growth of 3.2 percent, in 2020.
He expressed his confidence that the challenges of the energy sector will be overcome in the coming years through the wide competitiveness that Saudi Arabia enjoys in reducing carbon emissions and using carbon capture technologies.
He noted that the circular economy is able to achieve the goals of reducing emissions and that Saudi Arabia is performing a distinguished performance in this field, as it enjoys many promising opportunities with the use of technologies that facilitate access to zero carbon emissions.
He added that “developing and emerging economies in general are able to successfully implement the energy transition in all oil and gas projects.”


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