Enabling Integrated Solutions with Teamwork
Rex Tillerson, CEO, ExxonMobil
As we look to how we can meet our future energy challenges, it is clear that dialogue and understanding between all participants in the energy sector - producers, consumers and policymakers - will be critical to our success.
The scale of the challenge is immense. Energy demand is expected to be about 35 percent higher by 2030 than it was in 2005, driven by population and economic growth in the developing world. The sheer size and scope of the world's increasing energy needs requires a thoughtful, long-term approach to how participants in the energy sector can work together to meet these needs.
In addition to the fundamental need for more energy to enable economic and social progress, we must also address another critical aspect of the energy challenge: reducing the impact of energy use on the environment. Greater energy use worldwide is expected to result in about a 25 percent increase in global carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 to 2030.
It will take national energy companies, international energy companies, governments and citizens all working together to solve these dual energy challenges. There is no one source of energy, technology, course of action, or policy approach that will deliver the answer. It will take an integrated set of solutions, made possible by technological innovation, to meet our energy and environmental needs.
One of the actions we must take is to expand access to all economic energy sources. Oil, natural gas and coal will continue to meet the majority of our energy needs for the foreseeable future, and technology is continually expanding the horizons of what can be discovered and produced. For example, technology advancements in the Gulf of Mexico helped expand the estimated resource base from 9 billion barrels of oil in 1987 to 45 billion barrels in 2006. We can explore and develop those resources safely thanks to advanced seismic and drilling technologies. We must continue creating partnerships that will allow the industry to invest in large-scale projects to find and develop these resources.
In meeting the world's growing need for energy, we must mitigate emissions by pursuing fuels such as cleaner-burning natural gas, nuclear energy, and renewable sources when and where they are economically feasible. In addition, with further research and development, technologies such as carbon capture and storage have the potential to make a significant contribution to mitigating emissions.
Beyond the need to expand energy supplies, it is essential that we use energy in the most efficient manner possible. Efficiency technologies have the power to extend energy supplies and save emissions by reducing the amount of energy we use in our homes, cars, businesses and manufacturing. For example, advanced technologies exist for engines, transmissions, vehicle bodies and tires that could improve the efficiency of today's conventional vehicles by about 35 percent - saving significant amounts of fuel and emissions in the process. Further efficiency gains are possible through the development of hydrogen technologies for transportation.
These integrated solutions - expanding supplies, mitigating emissions and promoting efficiency with technology - are already proving effective. But deploying them on a global basis to meet long-term goals will require investment, teamwork and international cooperation on a sustained scale.
National and international energy companies must work together to apply their technological and business strengths to bring more resources to worldwide markets. The world's oil and gas resources are found in increasingly challenging locations, and it will take the expertise of a wide range of industry participants to recover these much-needed supplies.
At the same time, businesses and governments must work together to build energy policies that maximize the use of markets, encourage free trade, protect contracts and uphold the rule of law. The International Energy Agency estimates that the industry will need to invest more than $25 trillion in the world's energy supply infrastructure by the year 2030 to meet growing demand. Energy companies must have sound and stable tax, legal and regulatory policies that enable this long-term planning and investment to take place.
The International Energy Forum plays a valuable role in bringing together those who have a keen interest in meeting the world's energy challenges. Moving forward, the dialogue must not only address the range of solutions at our disposal, but also the cooperation necessary to put those solutions to work. By working together, we can meet our energy and environmental challenges and create greater opportunity for all.