Saudi oil transition to take ‘decades’ says minister

Don’t expect a rapid Saudi decarbonisation as oil demand will remain high, Khalid al-Falih tells reporters at OPEC meeting

Khalid Al-Falih (Pic: World Economic Forum/Flickr/Sebastian Derungs)


Saudi Arabia could grow its oil production capacity if global demand rises, the Kingdom’s oil chief said on the sidelines of a meeting of oil producing nations in Vienna.

“We are investing in capacity that would offset decline,” the newly appointed Khalid al-Falih told Argus Media. “We could build incremental capacity in the future, as global demand continues to grow.”

A much-publicised trillion dollar plan to wean the country off oil revenues would likely take decades. “We are not referring to three years, or five years,” he said.

“The kingdom is the country that will produce most oil. All indicators point to the fact that oil will continue to enjoy a considerable share of the market even 30 or 40 years hence.

“We see demand especially in heavy transport — such as aviation, marine, trucks and rail — and chemicals to remain healthy, while alternative technologies compete in light duty vehicles.”

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