GCC must adopt comprehensive post-oil plan: PM

February 20, 2012 - 10:39:17 pm


DOHA: The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani has called for adopting a post-oil strategy, suggesting that some of the oil returns should be invested in clean energy scientific research.

“This step should be one of the main priorities of GCC countries,” the Prime Minister said at the inaugural session of the 2012 Doha Brookings Conference for Energy held here yesterday.

The Prime Minister said that it is not sufficient that each country works unilaterally on its clean energy plan. A more comprehensive plan that covers the GCC’s developmental needs for the next five decades, must be adopted.

The world’s oil reserve is 1,200 billion barrels, 65 percent of which is in the GCC. The current consumption of oil is 80 million barrels a day, equivalent to 30 billion a year. With the increase in oil consumption like in the future, the Prime Minister concluded that the value of oil will decrease with time as the reserve runs out. Another reason would be finding a cheaper product that is less harmful environmentally, the Prime Minister noted.

The moral responsibility towards future generations prompts GCC countries to find new energy products that are more sustainable, in order to achieve sustainable development. Any growth, regardless of how big, will be lacking if it doesn’t take the prosperity of future generations into account, he cautioned.

The prime minister called on the conferees to avoid discussions on the energy price levels since in that regard these factors will be determined by the market. They can also be negotiated with Opec. “The focus of attention should be directed towards the strategy of the next stage that will follow oil.”

Any observer of the research efforts can conclude that the future in the next thirty years will belong to clean and sustainable energy He noted France has already embarked on a 10bn euro project to produce solar energy.

The German government has announced that it will stop using traditional fuels by the year 2050. Such efforts come at a time when American scientist Craig Venter made significant discoveries of producing energy using bacteria.

The conference included representatives of more than 15 countries from around the world concerned with the energy sector. They are to hold talks on issues affecting the energy market globally in terms of the changes the Middle East has been witnessing.

The key points of the two-day conference included “The impact of Middle East revolutions on the global market of energy”, “Middle East’s investments in the field of energy”, and “The changes the energy markets witness”.

The Peninsula