The CEOs of top Saudi Arabian and U.S. oil producers Aramco and Exxon Mobil on Monday pushed back forecasts of peak oil demand, and said the energy transition would require continuing investment in conventional oil and gas.
Their comments come after the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) last week said that new estimates showed the age of relentless fossil growth is ending and demand would peak in 2030.
Speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Calgary, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said talk of peak oil demand had come up many times before.
"This notion is wilting under scrutiny because it is mostly being driven by policies, rather than the proven combination of markets, competitive economics and technology," Nasser said.
He said he expected demand to grow to around 110 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2030.
Nasser said the narrative of the current energy transition was based on "unrealistic" assumptions and scenarios and it was important to keep investing in oil and gas to ensure global energy security and an affordable transition to cleaner sources of energy.
"We need to invest, otherwise in the mid- to long-term we will have another crisis and we will go backward in terms of using more and more coal and other cheap products that are available today."
Exxon CEO Darren Woods, speaking on the same panel, said it will be difficult to replace today's energy system because oil and gas are so widely available, and the transition would take time.
"There seems to be wishful thinking that we're going to flip a switch from where we're at today to where it will be tomorrow," Woods said.
"No matter where demand gets to, if we don't maintain some level of investment industry, you end up running shorter supply which leads to higher prices."
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