CERAWeek: Shell's Jeroen Van der Veer

Royal Dutch Shell CEO Jeroen Van der Veer is giving the lunchtime speech today. He started off by expanding on a comment he has made previously about oil field service firms being plumbers.
[again, this is based on a text provided beforehand. He has a very conversational style so he doesn’t stick to the script perfectly]
“These are tough times that require tough choices. And for Shell like any other company, it’s all hands on deck and overtime on the bridge.
But the current economic recession is a temporary situation. The longer-term trend is still one of growing energy needs.
That’s why the oil & gas industry needs to invest through the cycle. I’ll discuss: the long-term energy trend, the potential impact of the economic recession, and …how governments can help to soften that impact.
First, the long term. As soon as economic growth resumes, the demand for energy will pick up . . . and pick up fast. That’s what we at Shell refer to as the first hard truth for the period up to 2050.
The second hard truth is that even if we produce energy from all possible sources, it will be difficult to supply these growing energy needs. The third hard truth is that higher energy use will translate into higher CO2 emissions.
It’s not difficult to see why these hard truths remain valid. In the first half of this century, around 3 billion people will be added to the world’s population, at a rate of 75 million people each year — equivalent to the entire population of Turkey. And all those people will want to have electricity . . . and many of them drive a car.
So, for the longer term, we don’t expect a “demand surprise”, because the people will be there and they will ask for energy. Also, oil and gas will continue to be the world’s main “energy providers”.
It will take decades before other energy forms rank better on the three As of Affordability, Acceptability and Availability.
It will be a tough challenge to supply the world’s growing energy needs with oil. This challenge is made more urgent by the rapid decline rates of existing fields.
To avoid making a future supply crunch even more severe, the industry should continue to invest. But that will not be easy, in light of the economic recession.”

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