Shortages in the era of abundance

“Global energy demand remains strong and growing, but abundant supplies of oil and gas are now a fact of life. As a result, the economics of the past are changing,” says BP chief executive Bob Dudley.

Indeed, the once-popular idea of the world running out of oil in the future has been replaced by discussions about when exactly oil demand is likely to start declining. BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg suggests oil consumption could peak within the next 20 years, as a result of the world using more renewable energy and thanks to technological advances and efficiency in all fields of life, from engines to electric vehicles.

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Searching for the bottom line

The European oil majors’ first-quarter results are in, and the headlines are unanimous: the sector is roaring as profits are soaring.

The latter cannot be denied. Statoil’s profit was up by 74pc, Total’s by 56pc. Shell turned a four-fold increase in profit. Even BP was in the black. Compare with last year – as we must – and the bottom line is looking fine.

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Many a true word…

“I want to be the second to answer that,” Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanne joked with a big smile.

The smile was in response to a question addressed to him and to state-owned Saudi Aramco chief executive Amin Nasser on whether Total would like to buy a stake in Aramco, and whether Aramco wants to see Total as a shareholder.

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