Statoil CEO Helge Lund has said that fossil fuels will remain “the dominant part of the energy mix for decades”.
At the 2013 World Energy Outlook Autumn Conference, Lund commented on the outlook of oil and gas as part of a sustainable energy future.
"The big question is therefore how to make production cleaner than today, and make consumption more efficient. This is not simply a task for politicians and world leaders, although they play a major role. Industry and the private sector need to be committed and to contribute," Lund said.
In the 2013 World Energy Outlook, the International Energy Agency (IEA) presents a scenario in which global energy demand rises by one third between now and 2035. In the current global energy mix, fossil fuels account for 82% of the total, Today's share of fossil fuels in the global mix is 82%, the same as it was 25 years ago. Despite the increase in renewables, this figure will only fall to approximately 75% by 2035.
"Those who argue that we should stop exploring, harvest existing fields and block new opportunities are, at best, preparing for a future that doesn't exist - or which will be sustainable for very few. At worst, it is a way forward that will prevent a better and brighter future for millions of people.
"Some take the view that extraction of finite resources almost by definition is unsustainable. That they create more harm than good. I beg to differ. Our industry is not issues-free. There are benefits as well as burdens. We need therefore to continue to increase the first and minimize the latter. How we respond to the climate challenge is at the core of that debate," added Lund.
At present, China is the main driver of increasing energy demand, however India looks set to take over in the next decade as the main source of growth.
"As industry players, we also carry a responsibility to meet our common challenge, look for solutions, and implement and improve our CO2 footprint. We do not have all the answers. There is not one single solution. Our efforts cover a range of areas on which our progress still varies," he concluded.
Statoil emphasised the importance of framework conditions that better incentivise consumers and the energy industry to make the right decisions. The company called for a global price on carbon to reflect the real impact of emissions. In turn, this would stimulate technologies that can deliver energy with minimal carbon footprint.
Statoil also highlighted the increasingly important role of natural gas. Using gas instead of coal in the energy mix contributes to reducing emissions by approximately 50%. The company is also developing its carbon capture and storage technologies to position for a commercial CO2 business in the near future.
Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward
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