Saudi Arabia will be the world’s biggest hydrocarbon producer even in 2050, the Kingdom’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz said Thursday.
Prince Abdulaziz was speaking during a virtual conference convened by Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative Institute (FII-I). The conference set out to discuss what shape a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will take, and how to put sustainability and green strategies at its heart.
When asked as to what his outlook was for the oil market in 2050, the Energy Minister noted that Saudi Arabia’s oil sector would remain strong.
“I can assure that Saudi Arabia will not only be the last producer, but Saudi Arabia will produce every molecule of hydrocarbon and it will put it to good use … It will be done in the most environmentally sound and safe way and the most sustainable way,” he said.
“We will be the last and biggest producer of hydrocarbon even then.”
Saudi Arabia is currently the world’s lowest cost oil producer, with extraction costs of around $3 per barrel.
The coronavirus pandemic is causing the greatest recession the world has seen in nearly a century, with the full extent damage caused by the pandemic likely not realized – although experts broadly agree that the worst has passed.
“The coronavirus pandemic is more of a human than an economic impact, the human loss the destruction of education, healthcare destruction of economic activities are compounded in making our lives tougher and harder,” Prince Abdulaziz explained.
Producing for the pandemic
The virus prompted significant supply chain fears for medical supplies early on in the pandemic. In February the WHO was warning that the world was at risk of running out of masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to fight the virus.
Prince Abdulaziz noted that Saudi Arabia was tackling this problem successfully, with credit due to the discipline of the Kingdom’s people.
“We have the ability to produce all the N95s, we haven’t done it we’re doing it right now, the PPE we will be producing it, we will now be producing sanitizers, it takes discipline and a committed people,” he said.
The conference, brought together under the theme “Don’t Forget Our Planet!,” covers topics including what lessons have been learned to protect nature, sustainable energy solutions for the private and public sectors, and how to view ecology through the lens of profitability.
Other participants in the conference include Yassir al-Rumayyan, Governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Chairman of Saudi Aramco, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of India’s Reliance Industries, Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, and Patrick Pouyanne, Chairman and Chief Executive of energy firm Total SA in France.
The conference is being held Thursday between 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Riyadh time. Al Arabiya English is streaming the conference on YouTube and Twitter.
In October 2019, more than 6,000 executives and participants attended the third Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh.