Aramco CEO says IEA net-zero targets unrealistic

·2 min read
Amin Nasser, president and chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco, speaks during the fourth edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference at the capital Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton hotel on January 27, 2021. - Saudi Arabia opened a two-day Davos-style investment forum, with dozens of global policy makers and business tycoons lined up to speak at the largely virtual event amid the coronavirus pandemic. Only 200 of around 8,000 registered delegates attended in-person, while around 100 speakers are set to participate virtually with 50 present physically. Previous summits drew thousands of Wall Street titans and global policymakers. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)
Amin Nasser says the oil major is looking at new energy sources and hydrogen, as well as carbon capture. Photo: FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images

The CEO of Saudi Aramco (2222.SR) on Monday said the lower end of the International Energy Agency's (IEA) net-zero forecast was not realistic and the company still expects growth in oil demand. 

Speaking at the Energy Intelligence Forum, Amin Nasser, CEO of the state-backed oil major, also said that the shift from gas to oil had added 500,000 barrels per day to global oil demand.

"Pragmatic energy decisions are needed" for the future, he said, adding that Aramco is "focusing on many areas to reduce emissions." 

The oil giant is looking at new energy sources and hydrogen, as well as carbon capture, he said, later adding that Aramco has the capacity to do large clean hydrogen projects but is gauging demand. 

Aramco's trading arm has seen some customer interest in carbon neutral supplies and is looking to meet that, he said. 

Nasser also said it will take until 2027 for Aramco to increase capacity from 12 million barrels per day to 13 million. 

"It will not happen overnight," Nasser told the forum. 

The news comes amid surging oil prices. Crude (CL=F) jumped past $77 per barrel on Monday afternoon in London, its highest level in almost seven years. Brent crude (BZ=F) was also higher than $80 per barrel having risen 1.75 during the session. 

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Nasser's remarks also precede the meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+), which is on track to maintain its schedule of monthly oil production output increases of 400,000 barrels per day. An advisory panel had recommended sticking to the plan.

The final policy decision will be made at a full OPEC+ meeting later on Monday, according to a report by Bloomberg.

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