Speaking at the ONS Digital Conference in a video presentation, Patrick Pouyanne, the CEO of Total SA, said he now expects oil production to peak between 2030 and 2040, although he added that oil will continue to be needed.
Pouyanne expects greater generation from wind, solar and other renewables, as well as better use of storage solutions, to reduce the need for oil.
In the same video, Fatih Birol, the director of the International Energy Agency, said that 2020 may represent a turning point for energy generation, with many governments increasingly determined to reduce carbon emissions amid a background of declining costs for renewable energy. He added that electricity security was now dominating the agenda, compared to 1974, when the Strait of Hormuz was the leading concern for energy security.
Pouyanne said that by 2050:
“We think that we’ll have something like 40 million b/d of oil per day, but it’s not zero. It is much less than 100 million per day which is the actual consumption. Clearly we will face a peak in oil production around 2030-2040, which will begin to decline.”
He added that there will still be a need for oil, however, pointing out that it will remain a very efficient, transportable and affordable source of energy, with a litre of water costing more than a litre of crude oil.
Products likes gear oil, coolant and compressor oil will also continue to be needed for vehicles and industrial machinery, even those running on green electricity or clean fuels, such as hydrogen.