The Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, Dr. Abdalla S. El-Badri stated that this becomes necessary as many parts of the world still live without electricity.
He said: “And thirdly, we need to remember that around 1.4 billion people still have no access to electricity and some 2.7 billion continue to rely on biomass for their basic needs. There is much potential for social progress and making improvements in people’s living conditions – by providing light, power and mobility.
The Secretary General remarked that in developing countries, car ownership averages around 40 cars per 1,000 inhabitants, far lower than in OECD countries, where it is almost 600 per 1,000 inhabitants.
He said: “It all points to the fact that energy demand will rise. It is expected to increase by over 50 per cent by 2035 and all energies are set to witness growth.
El-Badri said: “However, it will be fossil fuels that remain dominant in meeting energy demand for the foreseeable future. They currently account for 82 per cent of global energy demand, and will still make up over 80 per cent by 2035.
He stated that of all fossil fuels, natural gas is expected to witness the fastest growth rate, at close to 2.5 per cent annually. And its overall share in the fuel mix rises gradually.
The Secretary General maintained that for oil, although its overall fuel share falls between 2010 and 2035, demand still increases by more than 20 million barrels a day over this period, reaching almost 110 million barrels a day by 2035.
He said: “Clearly with this expansion comes the need for more technological innovation, additional human resources and greater collaboration, so that we may produce the required volumes in a secure, safe and environmentally-sound way.
The Secretary General said: “We need to recognize that one of the three key elements of this session is now a cause for some concern. Globally there is a shortage of young people entering the industry. It is vital that this is rectified.
He said there is the current global economic climate, which is obviously impacting job prospects in many industries across the world.
The Secretary General said: “There is the large-scale downsizing that led to a lack of recruitment into the energy sector during the 1980s and 1990s. At that time, many universities cut back drastically on students in energy-related programmes because the industry did not need graduates in high numbers.
He said in recent years, there has also been a dramatic expansion in the services industry and ‘emerging knowledge’ economies, all of which has led to fierce competition for talent.
The Secretary remarked that there is also a sizeable section of the industry’s workforce that are now rapidly approaching retirement, particularly those that entered the industry in the 1970s. This was an issue specifically highlighted in a recent study by the European Union and OPEC, titled ‘Potential Manpower Bottlenecks in the Oil & Gas Industry’.
Information from National Mirror was used in this report.