Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden estimated the global demand for oil could peak as early as 2025 if countries abide by rules outlined in the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, Axios reported.
The oil and gas executive gave the aggressive prediction Wednesday talking to Axios at the CERAWeek conference in Houston. CERAWeek is an annual meeting between oil and gas producers, mainly in the U.S., and members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The timeline for peak oil presented by Beurden is the quickest of any oil and gas executive, but it comes with the caveat that countries remain committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, an unlikely scenario, according to Axios.
“It depends on what you want to believe. If you believe that Paris is going to be a success, that somehow the nations of this planet are going to get our act together, are going to be effective in devising and enforcing policies that will decarbonize the energy system, my expectation is then that oil demand will peak in 2025, 2026,” Beurden said. “That’s the Goldilocks scenario. It all needs to come together.”
The Paris Climate Accord is not a legally binding or enforceable document and relies on the continued commitment of all its signers.
President Donald Trump announced he would pull the United States out of the Paris agreement in June, saying the deal put the U.S. “at a very, very big economic disadvantage.”
The U.S. oil and gas industry has surged in recent months as OPEC and others, including Russia, have throttled back oil production to decrease an international glut in oil. Russia is currently the largest producer of petroleum, but the U.S. is on track to take the top spot by 2023, just two years before Beurden says global oil demand could hit its ceiling, according to the International Energy Agency.
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