Can’t meet energy needs of today if “we just turn the lights off” – Exxon Guyana President

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‘Oil production needs to stop if the world has any chance of fighting climate change.’ This is the position of environmentalists as the world pushes the pathway to net zero. But industry analysts say that oil will continue to be necessary to meet the world’s energy needs. 

ExxonMobil’s Guyana President, Alistair Routledge recently reiterated this point during an interview with Stephen Sackur, host of BBC’s HardTALK. 

“It is a pathway. You cannot meet there overnight. You don’t get there overnight. And you can’t meet the needs of society if we just turn the lights off,” Routledge told Sackur. 

There is no fair energy transition without engagement of oil industry – Petrobras CEO | OilNOW

Exxon’s Chief Executive Officer, Darren Woods addressed this. He said Big Oil is often painted as the villain in the climate change narrative.  He warned that restricting fossil fuel supplies would impede progress towards achieving net zero emissions and perpetuate poverty in the developing world. Woods urged the industry to work collectively towards change, stressing the need to prioritize technology investment before market forces can independently drive such transitions.

Exxon’s Guyana operations often come up on the chopping block when talks of the energy transition emerge. The company has discovered 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent in the Stabroek Block. Guyana’s government policy is to harness the resource to fuel its development and impending transition to cleaner energy. The country is at net zero and is working to transition away from fossil fuels with its upcoming Gas-to-Energy project. Also in the pipeline are massive solar farms along with the long-awaited Amaila Falls Hydropower Project. 

ExxonMobil’s Global Outlook : Oil and gas vital in meeting world’s energy needs through 2050 | OilNOW

Norway’s Rystad Energy lauded Guyana’s efforts to implement the right policies to attract foreign investment to fund its transition. In a review last year, Rystad Energy even urged other Latin American nations to use Guyana as “the blueprint” for energy policies aiming to attract foreign investments in the region.


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