CERAWeek: Ju'mah on alternatives, CO2 sequestration et al

Abdallah Ju’mah, Saudi Aramco’s chief, outlined issues that will impact the overall energy security situation:
1. Alternative technologies to replace or complement fossil fuels: As world living standards improve the world’s energy needs will increase, he said. But there’s a possibility of overly optimistic expectations of the role alternatives will play in the near term.
“In my opinion the world simply cannot afford to leave massive amounts of coal and oil and gas in the ground and move precipitously toward unproven technologies …” Ju’mah said.
Saudi Aramco plans to invest $5 billion in upstream projects in the coming years. On downstream side, worldwide refining will double from 3 million barrels per day to 6 million barrels per day. He pointed to the expansion of Motiva’s Port Arthur refinery (a joint venture of Saudi Aramco and Shell) that will make it the largest in the world.
2. The dilemma of growth: We cannot afford to abandon fossil fuels and still help the world develop at a rate to help improve poverty throughout the world, Ju’mah continued. The world community needs to reach a consensus on this issue.
Ju’mah said all nations need to agree to develop existing resources more cleanly. Also, developing carbon sequestration technologies (the storing of carbon dioxide emissions underground) is crucial.
3. The way Chinese and Indian demand is impacting energy prices: Rather than sounding the alarm about demand growth from those nations the world would be better off engaging the two countries, Ju’mah said. That’s instead of engaging in “cutthroat competition.”
Between conventional and unconventional liquids “the planet is sufficiently endowed to meet the world’s demands for many decades to come,” Jum’ah said, but he’s concerned that confusion over how to deal with issues like climate change will lead “key players to scatter based on varying agendas.”
He wrapped up by saying there’s “… considerable risk the available supplies would be significantly compromised.”

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