“It is very important to explain that the transition does not mean abandoning oil and gas. There is a narrative that is being common in many countries, even in producing countries, in which the transition means stopping producing oil or gas. We, at OPEC, believe that this is wrong and dangerous”, said Haitham al Ghais, in Luanda, on the sidelines of the Angola Oil & Gas conference.
“The global economy will double between now and 2045 and the world population will reach almost 10 billion people and the majority of this growth will be in non-OECD countries, that is, the countries of the Global South and it is natural that they will need more energy ”, he added.
According to OPEC calculations, “the world will need almost 25 percent more energy compared to the current period until 2045 and, therefore, it is important to explain in these events the importance of not abandoning one form of energy in favor of another”, urged Haitham al Ghais.
“Our focus has to be on reducing emissions”, he added, saying that there are several technologies and options available to achieve this goal.
“It is a legitimate aspiration for all countries to realize their potential”, said the official during his speech at the conference, highlighting that this implies benefiting from the oil reserves with which many countries “have been blessed”, including in Africa.
“Unfortunately, there are constant efforts to stop some countries from realizing their potential”, he criticized, lamenting the growing difficulties in accessing capital under the pretext of good governance and the “discouraging speeches” that also represent “serious risks to energy security”.
On the other hand, “a cumulative investment of 12 billion dollars is needed for the oil industry by 2045 and annual estimates have been well below this level”, stated the OPEC leader.
“Unfortunately, public discourse on environmental challenges has become more polarized, but the reality is that the oil industry must be part of the solution. We all share the same objective, it is not about reducing the use of certain energy, but about reducing emissions, we want to use knowledge to find efficient technological solutions”, he reinforced.
NJ Ayuk, president of the African Energy Chamber, spoke in the same vein, highlighting that the reforms that Angola has promoted in the sector “are working and the industry has responded”.
He also stressed that the oil industry should not be abandoned, as it is a source of growth for African countries.
Regarding natural gas, he said that Angola has promoted several initiatives to develop the sector, considering gas as “a bridge” for the energy transition and to lift people out of energy poverty.
“Continue to believe in oil and gas,” he appealed to the public, saying: “We should not apologize for wanting to produce oil and gas.”