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NorthAmOil: Big Oil increasingly talks down energy transition

Big Oil is increasingly talking down the energy transition as profits and production soar and as ESG falls out of favour.

At the annual CERAWeek get-together in Houston earlier this month, oil executives used the platform to deride the transition and to keep doing what they know best – pumping crude.

Executives showcased certainty that fossil fuel usage would persist, just months post the world leaders' commitments at COP28 in December to commence "transitioning away from fossil fuels" and tripling renewable energy usage by 2030.

“We should abandon the fantasy of phasing out oil and gas and, instead, invest in them adequately reflecting realistic demand assumptions,” Amin Nasser, chief executive of Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producer, told delegates to the conference. The audience applauded.

"The current climate favours the oil and gas industry," stated Alan Armstrong, CEO of Williams, the largest US gas pipeline firm, in an interview with the Financial Times also at CERAWeek.

“Roll the clock back four or five years ago, they were like: ‘Oh, it’s all going to be renewables and batteries’ – and now they’re saying: ‘Wow, wow, this is going to be way too expensive,’” he said.