MEXICO CITY—Fulfilling the Paris Agreement’s clean energy agenda will take time — and a slow transition to cleaner energy means a prolonged demand for oil until at least 2050, Rystad Energy and Wood Mackenzie executives said.
Based on the velocity of the energy transition, there is still a need for oil, Rob Cordray, senior vice president of consulting at Rystad said on March 22 during a panel discussion during the two-day AAPG-Energy Opportunities event.
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“The transition is happening, and I don’t think the genie can be put back in the bottle, but at the same time this is going to take time,” Cordray said. “These are huge technological advances that need to be turned into huge projects.”
Moving forward, there will be demand for oil and gas amid increasing investor pressures and optimism around the energy transition. Even though major oil companies will take different approaches, there are numerous ways to do it, the executive said.
“So, we firmly believe there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for companies, governments, countries or anyone. Each and every basin, each and every place has its own pluses and minuses,” Cordray said.
Massive oil demand through 2050
By 2050 almost 1.2 trillion barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) – comprised of 700 billion bbl of oil and 450 billion boe/d of gas – will be needed to meet demand over and above producing fields, Wood Mackenzie Energy Research Director Julie Wilson said during the panel.
“Despite there being discovered and prospective resources that far outstretch what is needed to meet demand by 2050… the problem is many of those resources are not advantaged, that is low-cost or low-carbon,” she said.
Wilson said a call-to-action plan for upstream companies, governments and regulators is necessary to address the headwinds the energy industry faces as it tries to meet oil demand due to the massive volumes needed to cover future needs.
Companies need to: renew exploration in new fields rather than revisit mature ones; make disadvantaged resources advantaged via technology; and push into the so-called super basins with the co-location of big upstream with renewables and carbon capture and sequestration within the same basin, as well as low-carbon alternatives.
Wilson said governments and regulators need to be clear on priorities, including considering a holistic energy tax system to meet multiple objectives. Policy and regulations should align with priorities top to bottom, while government agencies need to ensure clear jurisdiction at different levels, Wilson said.
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