Strong signs for the New Year after virus impact

Mohammed Y. Al-Qahtani at International Petroleum Week

Speaking in a one-on-one conversation entitled “Opportunities for Transformation in a Post-COVID-19 World” as part of International Petroleum Week, senior vice president of Downstream, Mohammed Y. Al Qahtani, highlighted the devastating, and unpreceded, impact the pandemic had on global oil demand in 2020, while expressing optimism on the future.

“China has recovered significantly and countries across Asia continue to do well, such as Japan and Korea. Some demand challenges remain in Europe and the United States, but I expect the oil recovery to gain pace.”

Mohammed Y. Al-Qahtani, Senior vice president of Downstream, Aramco

A note of caution

He added that the market was already responding and that the oil and gas industry was starting to see shrinking inventories.

Despite his optimism, Al Qahtani warned that risks surround worldwide underinvestment in Upstream. Compounding the potential problem was that recent investments have been predominantly in brownfield and short-term cycles.

“This will have consequences with an oil production base getting weaker and weaker,” he said.

Looking to the future and the energy transformation that is underway, he observed that new sources of energy face many technical and investment challenges. It is critical that there is plentiful and affordable energy available for the world. Accordingly we should not ignore existing energy sources, which must form part of the world’s energy mix. “The world needs practical and balanced energy policy,” he said.

He said it was critical that there was plentiful, affordable energy available for the world, and existing energy sources should not be ignored.

Future looks strong

Al Qahtani noted that Aramco’s carbon intensity in oil production was one of the lowest in the world.

“It is the result of many years of meticulous reservoir management and methane leak detection and repair.”

Al-Qahtani said that Aramco’s future is expected to be very strong indeed, and with full integration of the Downstream, with SABIC a major part, this is expected to lead to increased profitability.

“I am very optimistic for this year,” he added.