The combined income of the global oil and gas industry surged to nearly $4 trillion last year, up from an average of $1.5 trillion in recent years, Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), said during a conference on Tuesday.
Despite the record industry earnings, the major oil-producing countries, especially those in the Middle East, need to start working on diversifying their economies, the head of the IEA said via video link at an energy conference, as carried by Reuters.
“You cannot anymore run a country whose economy is 90% reliant on oil and gas revenues because oil demand will go down,” Birol said.
The next climate summit, COP28, which will be held in Dubai, “could be an excellent milestone to change the destiny of the Middle East countries,” said the head of the IEA, one of the international agencies most active in advocating for an energy transition.
The COP28 conference president-designate is Sultan Al Jaber, the chief executive of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), which pumps nearly all the oil in one of OPEC’s biggest and most influential members, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Sharing an IEA infographic on Twitter with the oil and gas industry’s profits for 2022, Birol said this weekend, “The sector has a unique opportunity to invest a significant chunk of this in clean energy transitions, especially in emerging & developing economies.”
The six biggest international oil majors alone posted as much as $219 billion in net profits for 2022, a new record high.
Each of Exxon, Chevron, BP, Shell, Equinor, and TotalEnergies reported record profits for last year, doubling their combined net earnings from 2021 and booking the best-ever year for Big Oil. The profits surged from around $100 billion booked for 2021, as oil and gas prices jumped last year following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and majors raised oil and gas production to meet the growing demand for oil and limited gas supply from Russia to Europe.