Asian influence crucial in global energy transition: Aramco CEO

by: Arab News Riyadh: Asian countries should step up and play a crucial role in shaping a pragmatic, orderly and inclusive global energy transition, according to Amin Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Arabian Oil Co.

Speaking at the Energy Asia conference, hosted by Malaysia’s state oil firm Petronas in Kuala Lumpur, Nasser said countries in the region should adopt approaches that reflect their unique priorities.

He also used his speech to reiterate Saudi Aramco’s strategy to help balance growing energy demands with more sustainable solutions.

“When it comes to the energy transition, I do not believe the interests of this dynamic region are being adequately reflected in the popular energy transition narrative and current transition policies,” he said.

According to Nasser, the existing transition policies should address environmental sustainability, along with emphasizing other factors including energy security and affordability.

“I see this as Asia’s great opportunity to speak louder and more clearly about its unique transition priorities. Asia’s transition voice should match its economic voice,” he noted.

Nasser added: “We are doubling down on Asia’s growing demand for energy, chemicals, advanced materials, lubricants, and new lower carbon energy, supported by game-changing technologies. (We are) doubling down on these needs by being Asia’s one-stop source that also aims to balance energy security and affordability with environmental sustainability.”

Talking about the future outlook of Asia, Nasser said that a new approach to the energy transition in Asia will help “deliver the energy future that its economies and people deserve.”

Nasser noted that global oil market fundamentals are expected to remain sound for the rest of 2023, primarily driven by healthy demand in developing countries like China and India.

“Despite the recession risks in several OECD (the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, the economies of developing countries — especially China and India — are driving healthy oil demand growth of more than 2 million barrels per day this year,” he said.

Even though China is facing some economic headwinds and challenges, the transport and petrochemical sectors are still showing strong signs of growth, he added.

In February, Nasser warned that energy transition policies and goals have created a dangerous path for global demand, as alternatives are not in a position to supply the entire world.

“Alternatives are not ready to shoulder the heavy burden of global demand. From my perspective, for a less risky global energy transition, everyone, including capital markets, must take a more realistic view of how the energy transition will unfold,” he said during the Saudi Capital Market Forum held in Riyadh.

Replying to an Arab News question during a press conference in March, he said that energy transition will only happen if there is an assurance of affordability, security of supplies, and sustainability.


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