In the U.S., oil company investors have certain expectations about when and how operators reach certain sustainability goals—reaching net-zero carbon emissions and transitioning to renewable sources of energy, just to name a couple. However, according to Kenneth B. Medlock III, director and fellow at the Center of Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute, the real energy transition to watch is how different countries are developing their energy resources.

“If you think about the future of energy, it starts with what’s happening in Asia, not what’s happening in the U.S. or what’s happening in Europe,” Medlock said during a presentation at the NAPE Global Business Conference on Aug. 18.

“The OECD represents about 1.3 billion people today; China, the ASEAN region and India about 3.4 billion—massive rates of economic growth, very large population growth rates that are still positive,” he added. 

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