Petroleum: Energy’s Cornerstone

According to the International Energy Agency, global demand for energy is projected to grow by more than 50 percent over the next 25 years, exceeding 325 million barrels of oil equivalent per day

Why? Oil is a proven commodity, and for decades to come, fossil fuels are expected to continue to comprise some 85 percent of the “energy pie.” Much of that demand stems from transportation requirements; a recent World Energy Council study concludes that through 2050, cars will continue to depend primarily on petroleum fuels and internal combustion engines. And there will continue to be more cars on the roads, too, especially as the populations of emerging economies such as China and India become more mobile thanks to improved lifestyles.

What about other types of energy, such as wind and solar, nuclear and renewables? Given spiking energy demand, contributions from all energy sources will be needed. So while we believe that alternative and renewable resources should be developed as part of the world’s future energy mix, we must also recognize that many of these options face significant technical, commercial, environmental and cost hurdles on the road to feasibility and viability.

On the other hand, from the standpoints of abundance, reliability and affordability, fossil fuels are an established resource with extensive production, transportation and distribution networks. They are expected to account for more than four-fifths of the world’s energy demand for the next quarter-century, and will not be displaced in the foreseeable future.

Board of Directors

HE Dr. Khaled S.Al-Sultan

HE Dr. Ibrahim A. AI-Assaf

HE Ali I. Al-Naimi

Abdallah S. Jum’ah

HE Dr. Abdul Rahman A. Al-Tuwaijri

HE Dr. Mohammad I. Al-Suwaiyel

Abdulaziz F. Al-Khayyal

Peter L. Woice

James W. Kinner

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart

Khalid A. Al-Falith

Salim S. Al-Aydh

Petroleum’s health-care applications are another indication of how this vital energy source enhances, protects and preserves life. Not only is petroleum a component in a range of medicines, it is also used as a coating to make pills easier to swallow. Petroleum-based plastics are used in an array of medical applications and products. Catheters, syringes, gloves, tubes, pumps and prosthetics are just a few examples.

Widespread misperception has given rise to concerns about the security of future petroleum supply. Saudi Aramco believes that, at current rates of consumption, the world’s resources are suffi – cient, even under conservative assumptions, to meet global demand for well over a century, and for nearly 200 years when technological advances are factored in. Despite this assurance and our existing resources, we are continually expanding our own reserves base of roughly 260 billion barrels. In order to meet the world’s growing energy demand, we have ramped up exploration activities with the ambitious target of increasing Saudi Aramco’s discovered oil resources, or “oil in place,” including proven, probable, possible and contingent reserves. These exploration activities aim to increase these “oil in place” resources from the current total of 716 billion barrels to 900 billion barrels and beyond within the next 20 years. We are also focused on improving petroleum’s performance, making it more efficient and environmentally friendly.

From the fuels that power cars, trucks and planes to the petrochemicals used in virtually every manufactured product, petroleum plays a vital role in everyday life: It’s in clothes and shoes; contact lenses and glasses; artificial limbs, heart valves and hearing aids; aspirin, anesthetics and antiseptics; car bodies, tires, dashboards and safety glass; gasoline, diesel and jet fuel; computers, CDs and televisions; toothbrushes, toothpaste, cosmetics and shaving cream; sports equipment and recreational gear; furniture, paint, roofing and upholstery — the list of practical and beneficial uses goes on and on.

Without a doubt, petroleum is energy’s cornerstone. And as the world’s leading producer and supplier of this vital natural resource, Saudi Aramco is itself a cornerstone of reliability and sustainability