Dec 7, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Oil industry CEOs on clean energy transition: You still need us

Illustration of an oil barrel seen double in psychedelic colors.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The pitch from CEOs of oil giants at a major industry gathering in Houston seems pretty clear — you need us.

Driving the news: Here's what Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said at the big World Petroleum Congress in Houston on Monday, via the Financial Times:

  • "I understand that publicly admitting that oil and gas will play an essential and significant role during the transition and beyond will be hard for some."
  • "But admitting this reality will be far easier than dealing with energy insecurity, rampant inflation and social unrest as the prices become intolerably high and seeing net zero commitments by countries start to unravel."
  • CEOs of Exxon, Chevron and Equinor emphasized long-term demand even as they touted emissions efforts, per Reuters and the WSJ.

The intrigue: The industry's posture comes amid growing activist and investor pressure to act more aggressively on climate.

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