RIYADH: There is no “immediate solution” to soaring oil prices, Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, president of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, said on Wednesday.
The ability of oil-producing countries to increase crude supply is limited by a lack of investment in the industry, said Itoua, who is also Congo’s hydrocarbons minister.
Itoua was speaking at an energy conference in Riyadh.
The forum, which included speakers from OPEC, the International Energy Agency and the International Energy Forum, presented various oil demand forecasts and discussed energy security and stability. of the market.
Yet from the outset, the broader debate about how best for the world to move away from fossil fuels and other sources of air-polluting carbon emissions has unfolded as speakers delivered their remarks. Major oil-producing nations, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have long argued that a rapid energy transition away from the fossil fuels they continue to rely on for revenue will impact global economic growth and hurt to the world’s poorest.
“We are not on the right track. So how should policy makers respond to this dilemma? The reality is that 80% of the world’s energy needs continue to be met by fossil fuels,” said Joseph McMonigle, Secretary General of the Saudi Arabia-based International Energy Forum, which hosted the symposium.
The IEF is the largest organization of energy ministers, with 71 member states, including the United States.
McMonigle said global energy demand has “returned” to pre-pandemic levels, but oil and gas investment has not returned to where it was before the COVID-19 crisis.
“Disinvestment in energy supply will not allow for a just and orderly transition and cannot be an answer to the climate crisis,” he said, arguing that countries should invest in both forms of greener energy and fossil fuels.