Oil and gas will remain essential to economic growth, ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond told attendees at the Cambridge Energy Research Associates annual conference in Houston on Feb. 11. He said that he expects oil and gas to remain the dominant means of energy at least through 2050. Demand is expected to grow by 40% to 290 MMboe/d by 2020, Raymond said.
Given the vast expected increases in demand, the question of security of supply arises.
"Energy import independence is not realistic," he said.
The surest means to supply security, he added, is through diversifying the supply.
While the US and Europe are both expected to increase imports by 3 MMboe/d over the next 20 years, Asia's predicted net imports increase dwarfs those figures at around 15 MMboe/d. The Middle East will likely fill the gap there, providing Asia with much of its needed import levels, he said. The shift in reserves and export levels will result in significant long-range geopolitical ramifications, Raymond said.
The public tends to perceive the oil industry as an "old-economy, low-tech" industry, Raymond added.
"We have not told our story, and that is our fault," he said. "We cannot expect others to tell our story."
Raymond told the conference that it is difficult for those outside the petroleum industry to grasp its magnitude, as well as the immense level of demand for energy it must meet.