OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais.
OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: The energy sector needs an investment of $12.3 trillion, said OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais on the sidelines of the ADIPEC exhibition in Abu Dhabi.

“I would like to re-emphasise one key point - the issue of chronic industry under-investment (in the energy sector),” said Al Ghais. “The outlook sees energy demand expanding by 23 per cent between now and 2045 - that is around 2.7 million barrels a day of oil equivalent per year.”

He said that, in reality, there is a huge shortfall in investments globally to meet this expected future demand growth. “The sustainability of the global energy system is actually at stake,” said the OPEC Secretary General. “For the oil industry alone we see global investments requiring a total of $12.1 trillion and I repeat trillion with a ‘T’ between now and the year 2045.”

Al Ghais called upon all industry stakeholders to work together to ensure a long-term investment-friendly climate with sufficient finance available, one that is sustainable and works for both producers and consumers, and developed and developing countries.

“OPEC is fully committed to helping ensure that the oil industry has a sustainable and stable environment that enables investments to be made,” he said. “This is evidently on display here in the UAE which has great plans to boost crude oil production capacity to 5 million barrels per day by 2030 and reduce emissions at the same time.”

Why is investment crucial?

While being asked about the repercussions of not meeting the investment target, Al Ghais said that the “consequences could be severe”. “Let’s remind ourselves that producing oil and gas is not just like turning the water tap on and off,” he said. “There have to be investments, there has to be planning, financing - it’s a full cycle to get the molecules from under the ground out to the end consumer.”


The oil and gas sector needs $600 billion worth of investments until 2030 to keep pace with the rising demand, said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry & Advanced Technology, and CEO and Group MD of ADNOC.

He calls energy security the foundation of all progress - economic, social, and climate.

“If we don’t pump hydrocarbon investment fuel due to natural decline, we will lose 5 million barrels per day of oil each year from the current supplies, making the shocks we have experienced this year feel like a minor tremor,” he added.

Energy investment expected to grow

According to the International Energy Agency, world energy investment is set to rise over 8 per cent in 2022 to reach a total of $2.4 trillion, well above pre-Covid levels.

“Investment is increasing in all parts of the energy sector, but the main boost in recent years has come from the power sector – mainly in renewables and grids – and from increased spending on end-use efficiency,” it said in the World Energy Investment report. However, investment in oil, gas, coal and low-carbon fuel supply, in aggregate, remains below the levels seen prior to the pandemic in 2019.