SAUDI petroleum minister Ali al-Naimi has warned that a “premature shift” to renewable energy sources could jeopardise investment in the oil sector and significantly slow global economic recovery.
He said, too, that in today’s economic environment, an appropriate price for oil is in the range $60-75 a barrel.
“Today’s low prices are just as unsustainable as soaring prices,” he said at an Opec meeting, adding that it was the emphasis on developing renewable energy sources, along with volatile markets, that led to low prices and revenues.
“Diminishing investment in fossil fuels will impact our ability to provide the energy that will be needed when the economy turns around,” he said.
“Indeed, a premature shift from fossil fuels to slowly evolving alternatives could have deeply counterproductive consequences to global energy security and to the natural environment.
“While the days of easy oil are over, the days of oil as a primary fuel source are far from over.
“Fossil fuels are expected to account for 80% of world energy needs for many years to come.”