File photo taken on March 12, 2019 shows operating oil pumps in Luling of Texas, the United States. U.S. oil prices turned negative on April 20, 2020. West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery shed more than 300 percent to settle at -37.63 U.S. dollars per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
(Xinhua/Wang Ying)

The Moderator of the Oil, Gas and Energy Law (OGEL) says fossil fuels’ dominance of the global energy mix makes oil crucial to the world economy.

Professor Anas Alhaji says, “So only a small amount of oil is under threat from renewable energy; let me bring common sense to the table, that those who are going crazy about reaching a peak demand for oil soon are missing this point, that the impact of renewable energy on oil demand is extremely limited.”

The Professor was delivering a virtual lecture monitored by the Ghana News Agency. It was organized by the office of GNPC Professorial Chair in petroleum commerce to educate the public on the need to maintain investments in the oil and gas sector.

Prof Alhaji observed that the International Energy Agency was doing the opposite of what it was established to do “because if they are telling the investors, telling the oil companies, telling the rest of the world we don’t need your oil, who is going to invest?”

The Professor insisted that the world would still need oil in the future, and that the world was going to experience oil shortages with high prices if investments in the oil sector reduced, which would make everybody suffer.

Prof. Alhaji observed the need for world leaders to face reality about oil politics and ensure that they were protecting the industry for posterity.

He said the reality was when the world attempted to maintain a healthy environment even though nations still needed oil, and therefore the need to maintain investments in the production of oil.

The General Manager, Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations, GNPC, Dr Kwame Baah-Nuakoh, in an address before the lecture, said it was the cherished view of GNPC “to ensure that we build capacity within the universities in Ghana, and that is why we have decided to allocate a million dollars a year to help our public universities to set up these professional chairs to support this kind of public education.

“We believe this would go a long way to enrich the debate and the discussion in relation to where we want to find ourselves as a country,” he said.

Dr. Baah-Nuakoh informed that the demand for oil and gas was changing because of the issues that were coming up because of the Paris Accord which ensured that cities and countries were rethinking investments in the oil and gas sector,

He said shareholders were also putting pressure on companies to go green and forcing companies to be energy efficient, and GNPC was not in isolation and that they, together with a lot of companies, were thinking about how to go green and survive.

“The world is moving away from the era of scarcity of oil to abundance and because of that it is affecting investor behavior and governments are rethinking their investment policies in oil and gas, so we are now not talking about supply of oil, we are now talking about demand,” he informed.

He asked that GNPC, like other companies, should be assisted to operate on “the low cost end of the curve and be more efficient and also diversify instead of saying we should stop investing in oil and gas.”

The lecture, which was on the topic, “Geopolitics, Covid-19, and the Oil Market Outlook: Strategic Lessons for Energy Emerging Petroleum Economies,” was part of the series of lectures by the Office of GNPC Professorial Chair in Petroleum in Ghana.

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