Oil and gas sector to less likely witness significant disruption in short term: WEC chief

Oil and gas sector to less likely witness significant disruption in short term: WEC chief

By Binsal Abdulkader

ABU DHABI, 11th March, 2021 (WAM) -- Although the COVID-19 pandemic is causing disruptions across almost all industries, the oil and gas sector is less likely to witness significant disruption in the short term, according to Dr. Angela Wilkinson, Secretary General of the World Energy Council (WEC).

"While the energy transition progresses, we now see that significant disruption in the short term is less likely for the oil and gas sector, where demand is already growing back," she told Emirates News Agency (WAM) from London by email on Wednesday.

"It is worth remembering, however, that human behaviours change constantly and impact the economy in unforeseeable ways. This is crucial for the Middle East, whose nations have played a pioneering role in the development of the world’s energy infrastructure and will keep being an essential pillar of expertise in the industry for the years to come," Wilkinson added.

WEC is a leading member-based global energy network of over 3,000 member organisations in around 90 countries.

Wilkinson added that WEC’s latest COVID-19 survey of world energy leaders will be published soon.

US agency expects rising oil demand

Meanwhile, a report titled Short-Term Energy Outlook March 2021, published by US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy, said rising Brent prices in February continued to reflect expectations of rising oil demand as both COVID-19 vaccination rates and global economic activity have increased.

The ongoing petroleum supply limitations by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and partner countries (OPEC+) have supported this trend, EIA added.

The OPEC+ extension of existing supply cuts through April added significantly to near-term upward oil price pressures and EIA expects Brent prices will average between US$65-$70/ barrel during March and April, more than US$10/ barrel above EIA’s expectation last month.

WEC COVID-19 survey finds changing energy landscape

A preview of the World Energy Council’s COVID-19 survey report accessed by WAM said the pandemic is changing energy landscape with new players coming into the market.

The report was prepared based on 230 responses received during February 2021 from across 6 regions and 57 countries.

The preview report said traditional energy companies would struggle to hold its leading positions, with integrated energy companies gaining momentum (71 percent).

Digital giants (51 percent), with their capacity to know and interact directly with individual customers, rapidly expand their capabilities in energy system integration and grid management to capture an increasing share of electrified mobility and other energy-plus services.

Governments will play a leading role in recovering from crisis and progressing successful energy transition; almost a third (30 percent) of respondents recognise the need of ecosystem approaches and engaging the whole energy system and adjacent sectors, said the preview of the survey report.

The WEC, established in 1923 to discuss the problems facing the global energy industry, has been non-governmental and non-commercial.

Today, it has almost 100 national member committees, with member list including governments, businesses and expert organisations. The World Energy Congress, held over 20 times since the organisation’s founding, is the world’s premier energy gathering.


WAM/ Ibrahim Shukralla