Since the discovery of large volumes of oil offshore Guyana, and now becoming a producer, the ability to balance this with the country’s low carbon agenda has long engaged the attention of environmentalists, some of whom believe the two objectives run counter to each other. But Chief Economist at the American Petroleum Institute, Dr. R. Dean Foreman begs to differ. In fact, he told OilNOW that it is indeed possible for nations to pursue oil extraction and still achieve their low carbon emissions goals.
Under the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) most aggressive sustainable development scenario to achieve the ambitions of the Paris Agreement (an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), Dr. Foreman was keen to note that oil production and consumption are expected to remain integral to the global energy mix for decades to come. Specifically, under the IEA sustainable development scenario in 2040, Dr. Foreman notes that oil accounts for 23% of total energy demand while natural gas accounts for 24% of total energy demand.
Further to this, the Chief Economist said that the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the IEA’s long-term energy projections also anticipate increased energy efficiency, technology, and innovation to reduce the energy intensity and emissions from the global economy.
Dr. Foreman said that in the past decade, industry stakeholders have seen how disruptive technologies expanded the abundance and cost-effectiveness of oil and natural gas globally. He also noted many would have observed that the expanded use of natural gas in place of coal in power generation has driven the world’s largest emissions reduction over this period.
Taking the foregoing into account, Dr. Foreman said that many industry stakeholders along with the API, expect technology and innovation will continue to play a critical role in meeting the world’s emissions goals.