Shale energy ‘transforming oil and gas industry’, says head of ​International Energy Agency

Dr. Fatih Birol, Director of the International Energy Agency (left) is presented with the Melchett Award by Prof. Jim Skea, President of the Energy Institute.
Dr. Fatih Birol, Director of the International Energy Agency (left) is presented with the Melchett Award by Prof. Jim Skea, President of the Energy Institute.

The head of the International Energy Agency has highlighted the impact of shale energy on the oil and gas industry.

Speaking at the Energy Institute in London, Dr Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director, said:

“Over the last 25 years, energy demand increased by almost 60%, with the lion’s share of this being met by fossil fuels. The biggest winner was coal. 

“But looking forward 25 years to 2040, we see a new dynamic on the demand side and a new set of winners on supply. Growth in demand slows to 30%, as energy efficiency helps to bring down the amount of energy required to drive the global economy.

“The ongoing growth in US shale oil is triggering a deep transformation of oil industry dynamics.

“The shale revolution in the United States is being followed by another gas revolution – this time driven by a wave of new LNG supply that will reshape gas markets and change the gas security equation.”

On the transition to renewable energy, Dr Birol said there are promising signs but emphasised the need for significant further effort:

“Over the last three years, global emissions have stagnated despite a growing global economy. This is a cause for optimism, even if it is too soon to say that emissions have peaked. It is also a sign that market dynamics and technological improvements matter.”

“Globally, R&D investment in clean energy by both governments and the private sector is too low. To support and encourage innovation and R&D efforts, the IEA is strengthening its role as a global hub for clean energy and energy efficiency.”

Dr. Birol was later honoured with the presentation of the Energy Institute’s prestigious Melchett Award, named after a former ICI chairman.

Dating from 1930, the Melchett Award is presented to an individual for their outstanding contribution to the study or advancement of the science of fuel and energy.

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