Oil demand is expected to rise over the next decade and the fossil fuel will remain a crucial part of the energy mix, even as renewables draw increasing attention, Hess Corp Chief Executive John Hess said at CERAWeek on Monday.

At the biggest gathering of top energy leaders, investors and politicians from around the globe, climate change and renewable fuels are taking centre stage this year with oil companies trying to reorient their portfolios as the fossil fuel industry reels from the coronavirus pandemic, which destroyed fuel demand and caused the loss of thousands of jobs.

“We don’t think peak oil is around the corner – we see oil demand growing for the next 10 years,” Hess said. “We’re not investing enough to grow oil and gas in the future,” he said, explaining that prices would need to rise to support that investment.

While demand is likely to recover sharply after the pandemic, supply is going to be slower to resume, he said, as shale producers, in particular, operate conservatively to meet shareholder’s needs.

“I’m proud of being an oil and gas person,” said Repsol CEO Josu Jon Imaz. “We are going to need oil and gas in the coming years.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2021.

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