DUBAI, Sept 22 : Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. CEO Sultan Al-Jaber said on Thursday there was little room to maneuver in oil markets that may face further disruption with minimal spare capacity.
Speaking at an event in New York, Jaber also warned that underinvestment in the current energy sector before alternative sources of supply were ready was a recipe for disaster, not progress.
“If people’s basic energy needs are not met, economic development slows down, and so does climate action,” Jaber said.
“If we under-invest in the energy system of today before the energy system of tomorrow is ready, we will only make matters worse.”
Jaber put spare oil capacity at less than 2 percent of global consumption.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, a group known as OPEC+, has been warning since August that the spare capacity cushion was thin.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are believed to hold the bulk of that spare capacity within the alliance, and are the only two members with the ability to increase production in a meaningful way.
On Thursday Jaber also warned of a wide funding gap between investment in renewables and the portion of those funds dedicated to zero-carbon energies that can transition heavy industry, manufacturing, construction and agriculture.
“As global energy demand continues to increase, we need to collectively and quickly decarbonize the existing energy sources that the world still relies on,” Jaber, who is also the UAE’s special envoy for climate change, said.
“We are a global energy player and fully committed to the energy transition,” he said.