ARAMCO and ADNOC CEOs optimistic about oil consumption reaching pre-Covid levels by 2021 end

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Chief Executive Officers of Saudi Arabian Oil Company, Saudi Aramco, and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) are optimistic that oil demand will return to pre-COVID levels by the end of the year, driven by vaccine campaigns and government stimulus.

UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and ADNOC Group Chief Executive Dr. Sultan Al Jaber remarked that “Global consumption is currently around 94 to 95 million barrels per day, and we expect it to rise to above pre-COVID levels by the end of this year”.

Meanwhile, Mr. Amin Nasser, the CEO and President of Saudi Aramco pointed out that “oil demand could recover to 99 million barrels per day next year, helped by growth in energy-consuming markets such as China, East Asia, and India. We are seeing good cause for optimism and recovery in demand. The current demand that we see in the global market is about 94 million barrels per day”.

Last month, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and OPEC updated their demand estimates for this year to about 96 million barrels per day.

The International Energy Agency remarked that global oil demand, which slumped in the early part of last year as the pandemic halted all kinds of travel, is set to reclaim 60 percent of lost volume this year.

Oil prices have risen by over 17 percent in the last month, supported by vaccine distribution in developed economies and strong Opec+ action.

Consumption, which has slowed in the US and in Europe this year due to renewed lockdowns, is expected to pick up as inoculations become more successful.

Mr. Nasser added that he expected continued growth in natural gas, despite reservations in some markets about “fugitive” methane emissions, a term which was attached to it due to losses and leaks of methane from natural gas production.

Since methane is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide in warming the Earth’s atmosphere, the global energy industry is increasingly taking methane emissions seriously.

Saudi Arabia, which has started to turn its power plants to gas is expected to generate 50 percent of electricity from the transitional fuel and the rest from renewables by 2030.

Hydrogen, which is rapidly becoming the preferred substitute fuel for Gulf oil exporters, is also being given priority for investment.

Related: Aramco open to selling more shares as market improves: Chairman