Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dr. Sanusi Barkindo, yesterday called for cleaner and more efficient techniques and technologies in the production of oil and gas.

He said though oil and gas would continue to be relevant as sources of energy, it was time to devise new ways of exploration and exploitation to reduce carbon emissions.

Barkindo spoke in Vienna, Austria, via video conference at a joint meeting with the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Energy Forum (IEF), which focused on coal and gas market outlooks.

The symposium examined short to long-term gas and coal market developments, COVID-19 recovery and post-pandemic outlooks, gas decarbonisation and the role of gas and coal in the energy transition.

In referencing OPEC’s World Oil Outlook (WOO)2020, Barkindo stated that global primary energy demand is expected to continue growing in the medium and long term, rising by 25 per cent by 2045.

He added that oil is projected to remain the largest contributor to the global energy mix by 31 per cent, while gas and coal are set to account for 28 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.

On the energy transition, Barkindo stated that at OPEC, it is believed that the scale of the challenges that the energy transition presents will require the utilisation of all available energies.

“We must seek out cleaner and more efficient technological solutions, such as Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS), while promoting the Circular Carbon Economy (CCE), as a means to improve overall environmental performance,” he said.

Carbon capture is the process of capturing carbon dioxide to be recycled for further usage and offers a response to the global challenge of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions from major industrial emitters.

Barkindo highlighted the importance of the meeting, particularly at a time the energy sector continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to address its impacts on the global energy markets are in top gear.

According to him, the joint event has increasingly attracted high-level participation, while the important issues discussed have been elevated to the global energy agenda.

He described the event as part of the trilateral work programme, involving interactions between physical and financial energy markets.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a stark reminder of how crucial global energy cooperation is in confronting serious industry crises, supporting stable energy markets and fuelling economic growth,” he stated.

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