Emerging carbon policies may limit future oil demand

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

ABU DHABI - Future growth in oil demand may be significantly constrained due to the emerging policies in the US and elsewhere to address climate change, said experts.

According to a report prepared by the Baker Institute of Rice University, emerging carbon policies would open up new markets for natural gas that is considered an eco-friendly fuel.

The report was presented at a roundtable conference in Abu Dhabi Tuesday. The meeting discussed how decision makers in the Middle East could respond to the changes in fossil fuel demand and carbon emission policies, WAM news agency reported.

The roundtable was attended by senior energy leaders of the Gulf region, as well as executives of the financial and banking sectors.

Former US secretary of state and honorary chairman of the Baker Institute James A. Baker said at the meeting that “Oil and natural gas will be important commodities for generations to come, even as the US, the EU and China experiment with alternative energy sources.”

In explaining the context of US initiatives “to prevent an unfettered growth in oil demand that is impossible to meet” Baker said: “As the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have shown with new programmes in science and technology, prosperity lies in embracing a wide range of opportunities.

“And to work together to ameliorate the oil boom and bust cycle in the short run, while considering a sensible transition for the very distant post-oil era that can be developed in a manner that preserves economic prosperity for the Gulf.”

The meeting was supported by consulting firm Accenture and legal services company Baker Botts.

“The evolution of low carbon technologies will happen faster than many conventional forecasts predict, so the question is whether policy makers in the US and the Middle East can react as fast as technology development,” said Arthur Hanna, managing director, oil and energy, at Accenture.

Although US policies have global influence, “we live in a multi-polar world where, for instance, China’s commitment to Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) or energy efficiency could have a great impact on the Middle East’s energy industry”, said Kenneth Medlock of the Baker Institute.

Filed under: Economy

Tags: ,
will not be displayed