Decarbonation, an essential issue even for the oil powers

While efforts to lay the groundwork for a low-carbon future may vary from country to country, the movement “is extremely powerful,” observes World Energy Council President Jean-Marie. Dauger, according to whom he “exercises even in oil producing countries”.

“We held our last congress in Abu Dhabi [en 2019]. And I was surprised to see all the Saudi ministers, from the Emirates, etc., talking about the after-oil for their country. This is a topic that no one can escape anymore, “said Dauger on Wednesday in a virtual conversation with the CEO. from Hydro-Quebec, Sophie Brochu, organized for the members of the Montreal International Relations Council (CORIM).

Born at the beginning of the XXe century, the World Energy Council wants to be an impartial analysis forum covering the different sources produced and consumed in the world, both hydrocarbons and renewable energies, such as solar, hydroelectricity, bioenergy and wind .

For oil companies, “there is a real stake,” said Dauger, who has been in office for the past year. “Peak oil will probably be reached during this decade. And the climate agenda, if I dare say, is settling down sustainably, it seems to me. “

But there is “a paradox” in all of this. “It is that if the oil companies have every interest in getting involved in decarbonation, including their own uses, and in particular in investing, it seems to me, in storage and extraction techniques CO2 to secure a future, at the same time, with all the scenarios we can do, oil, and hydrocarbons in general, still cover almost two thirds of the needs by 2040, or even 2050. So oil is here for a long time. “

In the shorter term, however, there are many unknowns in the future, an obvious consequence of the COVID-19 crisis, which appears to be on the way to reducing crude oil consumption in 2020 to its 2012 levels, according to recent forecasts from the ‘International Energy Agency. In April alone, it was a question of going far back in time, 1995 to be more precise.

The crisis, which affects governments as well as populations and businesses, brings its share of questions. What place will the energy transition play in the recovery plans? Will companies be able to adequately finance the projects that were on the table? “Even before the crisis, the investment needs were already considerable,” said Dauger.

According to the president of the CME, it also seems that the “weight of resilience issues will be rather increased in all strategic thinking” on energy. “This concern for resilience, for the resilience of our economic and energy systems, will rather push towards an acceleration of what is called the energy transition. But there is a doubt, he nuances. “It comes mainly from the ability of governments and businesses to support investment needs. But from all crises arise opportunities. And the difficulty we have when we are in the middle of the storm is to determine which avenues open and which do not open. “

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