CERA: More world oil, means more investment

Transformed perceptions of fossil fuel resources will mean that oil and gas supplies will continue to shape the energy landscape for decades, executives said Tuesday during a panel on day two of CERA Week 2012.

That means that there are opportunities for increased production, although they will require significant investments because of their complexity, said Juan Jose Suarez Coppel, director general of Mexico’s state-owned oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos.

“The story is if you don’t put anything in you won’t get anything out,” Suarez Coppel said.

He argued that for companies like Pemex, which suffered billions in losses last year, the solution is privatization.

He said the company has suffered as a state-owned institution.

“That’s what happens when you ask congress to write the bills of a company,” Suarez Coppel said. “You have a hammer that looks like a nail.”

Yves-Louis Darricarrere, president of Total S.A., of France, pushed for increased investment in broad energy prospects.

He argued that fossil fuels will continue to be an entrenched portion of the world’s energy mix for as many as 75 years for oil and 130 years for gas, based on recent discoveries and world events.

“In a post-Fukishima environment, the position of fossil fuels is even more difficult to challenge,” Darricarrere said.

Although fossil fuel production will remain strong, Darricarrere said, other energy sources will become important as energy demand increases.

“We believe solar energy will take the lead and double its share with an annual growth rate of 17 percent a year,” he said.