KUALA LUMPUR -- BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward called on the oil and gas industry to respond more effectively and to focus on new production to meet rising global energy demand during his industry address to the Asia Oil and Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur.
But Hayward noted that the response to put fields into production was being hampered by 25 years of low investment, because of low prices, resulting in the supply chain being stretched to the breaking point.
Hayward also noted that there is a shortage of equipment and costs are escalating.
"There is a lack of people, of experienced scientists and engineers," he said, pointing out that the problem was compounded as many of the well-qualified people in the industry are close to retirement. As such, the industry is lacking with the tools to deal with the challenge of rising demand.
Speaking a week before the annual BP oil and gas statistics are released, Hayward assured that the world is not running out of hydrocarbons. There are nearly 42 years of oil reserves left in the ground and 60 years of natural gas, he said.
"We have produced around 1 trillion barrels of conventional oil, and we are still on another 1 trillion barrels of proven reserves and yet another trillion barrels of non-proven resources," Hayward said. "On top of that, there are vast quantities of unconventional hydrocarbons including oil sands, heavy oil, and unconventional oil and gas."