‘Big oil’ dismisses predictions of collapse in demand

JULY 10, 2017 by: Andrew Ward, Financial Times
Mark van Baal of Follow This, a group of activist “green” shareholders in Shell, said Mr van Beurden was being too complacent. “The world needs to get to zero emissions by 2050 [to tackle climate change]. In our opinion, that means stopping exploring for oil and gas and starting exploring for new business models.”
Saudi Aramco and Shell play down impact of electric vehicles
Two of the world’s largest oil companies have hit back against predictions that electric vehicles threaten a collapse in demand for hydrocarbons and warned that global energy security would be at risk if investment is withdrawn from fossil fuels too soon. […] Ben van Beurden of Shell said the transition to low-carbon technologies would “take place over generations” rather than as a rapid “revolution”.
Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell acknowledged that a shift towards renewable energy — including battery-powered cars — was under way but said oil and gas would remain indispensable for decades to come. […]
Listed oil companies such as Shell are facing increasing scrutiny from investors over the risks posed to their businesses by renewable energy. Meanwhile, Aramco, the Saudi Arabian state oil company, must convince potential shareholders of its long-term appeal ahead of a planned stock market flotation. […]
Mr van Beurden said Shell was embracing the shift towards low-carbon energy, with an aim to invest up to $1bn a year in “new energies” by the end of the decade. But he said natural gas had a big role to play in decarbonisation efforts because of its cleaner characteristics compared with coal when burnt to produce electricity.
He also highlighted areas such as air travel, shipping and heavy freight that cannot be electrified using current technology, as well as many heavy industrial and chemical processes.
“There is not one single energy transition under way, but many, all running alongside each other . . . [and] they will take many decades to play out,” said Mr van Beurden.
Read the complete article of Andrew Ward in Financial Times