(MENAFN - Arab News) Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi spoke about the outlook of the oil and gas sector, and the role of technology in the discovery of more reserves in his key speech at the Gas and Oil Conference in Australia earlier this week.
Organized by the Australian Petroleum Production Association (APPA), the Kingdom participated in the event as a guest of honor.
Al-Naimi predicted that the world population would increase from seven to nine billion by 2050. The hopes and aspirations of the people will then depend on the economic progress based on the energy sector in general and oil and gas in particular. Countries including Australia and Saudi Arabia will have to share the responsibility of supporting the progress.
"In my opinion the future of oil and gas will see enormous developments," Al-Naimi said and focused on a number of key factors behind this development in the field of energy factors, which are technical, environmental and geopolitical.
"Let me start with technology, it is clear that over the last two centuries, fossil fuel was behind the tremendous development witnessed by the world, and more clearly from the points of view of human creativity and the technical cause of this global transformation. I do not see any reason to believe that this will end," he added.
"Estimates indicate that the world has consumed about one trillion barrels of oil since the start of the oil industry in the nineteenth century. It is believed that there are at least five other trillions of (barrels) of recoverable oil."
Not only that, but the technique, partly driven by the appropriate prices, was able to discover more reserves, more than ever, the reserves can be extracted at the end. Here we see the human creativity and technical obstacles, imagine that we were not overcome. In the United States, Canada, Brazil and the Arctic, and here in Australia, of course, we find that the technical development has made tremendous progress.
In a speech the minister delivered in the presence of Jay Wilson, premier of South Australia, Australian Minister of Energy Martin Ferguson, and President of APPA David Knox, he referred to the role of Saudi Arabia in the continuing work to explore the new petroleum reserves and said: "Saudi Arabia is seeking to explore large amounts of additional oil reserves, and aims to increase the overall average recovery rates of 50 percent to 70 percent of the major fields in Saudi Arabia.
About solar energy technologies in Australia, Al-Naimi said: "Australia and Saudi Arabia are at the forefront of this evolution. Solar energy is the driving force for economic development in the Middle East and the rest of Asia, and Africa. We invest in the Kingdom in research and development of this type of energy, and I know that Australia is also among the global leaders in this area.
Speaking about economic growth in Asia, Al-Naimi said: "It is the pointer to the global economic scene in this century, and I would like countries such as Saudi Arabia and Australia to contribute to the positive contribution and benefit from this contribution.
These countries have been able to avoid the worst ravages of the recent global economic downturn, as a result of increased growth of trade exchange movement on the continent of Asia. But the key to any business relationship, as is the case in human relations, is to deepen the bonds of friendship in times of prosperity, so as to overcome any difficulties in the future."