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President, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center
Member of the Executive Board and Labor Director, Siemens Energy AG
CEO, Crescent Petroleum
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Transformation, US Department of State
Reporter and Anchor, CNBC
HADLEY GAMBLE: I want to say thank you so much to Dubai Expo and to the UAE, your excellencies, Fred, Randy for allowing me to be a part of this incredible forum. And at no time, frankly, are the things that we are going to be talking about been more relevant and right up my alley, I have to say.
Panelists, welcome. It’s great to see everybody.
I have been running around for the last several months from Russia to Ukraine, as well as to Brussels. I feel like I don’t even know where I am anymore. I mean, just a couple of weeks ago I was in Antalya for the first high-level round of talks between the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine. So I’ve been able to get a real sense both behind the scenes and speaking to world leaders—the chancellor of Germany last week, the French president last week, and as well Boris Johnson, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, and the NATO secretary general. So I’m looking at this, as we all are, from all different angles.
As His Excellency Suhail Mazrouei so rightly put it, this is a geopolitical crisis. This is an energy crisis. I want to kick off by asking the deputy assistant secretary of state to walk us through the role right now of the United States, because how can you possibly ask this part of the world to commit to more production, putting more oil on the table, putting more gas on the table when at the same point you are abandoning them to Houthi attacks both on Aramco infrastructure and even on infrastructure in Abu Dhabi? Because you can’t have it both ways.
ANNA SHPITSBERG: Thank you for that question.
The administration’s policy from the beginning was always energy security, energy access, and decarbonization across the board. The focus on energy security and everything’s that’s happening right now that we need to respond as a result of Russian aggression in Ukraine is something we have to manage. We have never said that near-term security is—energy security is something that does not need to be at forefront and center as we transition.
So the request on production increases is something to meet demands today that we understand 80 percent of our energy system is carbon-intensive. We do not turn off that switch. We say that all the time and we say it for a reason, because it’s a reality.
But we are dealing in not just times where we have uncertainty because of the geopolitics; we have uncertainty because we don’t have a playbook for an economic recovery off of COVID. Demand has been a roller coaster. There hasn’t been signals for long-term investing and contracting for a number of reasons. Those signals need to make sense to meet the market today.
But we do not walk away from the energy transition while we’re doing it. We can’t. We don’t have that option. It is essentially getting into the middle of a street and thinking we’re not going to get hit when the light turns red. We don’t have that option. We need to do both of these things.
We do, though, very much are paying attention to what is happening geopolitically, including the impacts that we saw on the CPC Pipeline in Kazakhstan. The Houthi attacks, of course, make a difference. We do not support any aggression and we stand with our allies and partners on this.
HADLEY GAMBLE: Well, one of the big questions, of course, is who’s backing the Houthis, and we’re talking about the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. And right now there is a conversation, a very real one, happening in Washington—it’s also happening in Europe—about what the JCPOA, the next generation of that deal, could potentially look like and removing the Iranian Revolutionary Guard from the list of terror groups. Does that not present a conflict of interest?
ANNA SHPITSBERG: With our goals? No, I do not think it presents a conflict of interest in terms of making sure that we remove rebel groups and that we secure infrastructure while we move toward our goals. No.
HADLEY GAMBLE: I could ask you about the Patriot missiles, but I’ll move on.
Claudio Descalzi, fantastic to have you, sir. I just sat on a panel in Doha with Patrick Pouyanne, the CEO of TotalEnergies, and I pressed him on the idea that he has refused technically to exit their investments in Russia. He says we’re not buying any more Russian oil, he said, but we can’t get rid of these assets, essentially, because we can’t write them off because we don’t want that money to go to potentially the Russian government or oligarchs. He’s like, that would only hurt the effort that we’re making at this point to stay in line with sanctions.
Walk us through what’s happening today with Eni. Are you still purchasing Russian oil? Can you confirm to us that that is not still the case? And also, what you’re doing with regards to the government specifically in terms of those conversations about what needs to happen toward the transition and to wean Italy specifically off of Russian sources of energy.
CLAUDIO DESCALZI: So thank you for the opportunity to talk about Russia. Our position in Russia is very marginal, is not material. We just have a pipeline from Russia to Turkey, Blue Stream, and a few days after the war started I announced that we dismissed this activity. And then we have an upstream venture with Rosneft, but everything is sanctioned and frozen starting 2014 so that remain the case. So we don’t have—the only big issue is that, as other company in Europe, we buy gas. So we don’t have asset there. We don’t have investment. We don’t have projects. The issue is gas. And now that’s—they ask us to pay in ruble. It became very difficult to buy it, to pay it, because we just—we don’t have and it’s not in the—in the contract because the contract is written euro and you can’t change unilaterally. So you have to agree on this change. It’s difficult to agree because we don’t have this kind of currency.
So that is the only big question, and that is the reason of the volatility/uncertainties. And that is the reason why the gas price, despite the mild weather, despite that we have LNG, despite that this—we have gas now because also the Russian gas is coming, the price is very high. It’s at least seven times more, eight times more than what it was three years ago, in the last five years.
So the situation is that. So we don’t have asset. We don’t have big—well, we don’t have any kind of investment. The gas issue is big issue. It’s flowing now. It’s flowing. It’s arriving from Ukraine to Italy at the moment. We don’t know what will happen in the future, honestly.
HADLEY GAMBLE: Yeah. So no Russian rubles for Russian gas?
CLAUDIO DESCALZI: Sorry?
HADLEY GAMBLE: So no Russian rubles for Russian gas?
CLAUDIO DESCALZI: Yeah. And –
HADLEY GAMBLE: Yeah. Walk me through, though, those conversations that you are no doubt having with Mario Draghi about how to wean the country off of dependency on Russian sources of energy and at the same point have a realistic dialogue about the level of investment that is needed going forward towards the energy transition as well as making sure that there is a sustainable market of energy in the near term?
CLAUDIO DESCALZI: So I think that’s also the minister said clearly that in the last years in the past we create a conflict between energy transition and gas or oil. And decarbonization became an ideology, so just renewables. We are producing lots of renewables. We know that we cannot do everything just with renewables. There are a lot of different technologies. But you know, gas until two months ago in Europe, the taxonomy, gas was out. In November/October, they—I don’t want to say that you are a criminal if you produce gas or oil, but not far to be a criminal case if you are producing gas or oil. And now—so that is a big mistake to be radical and say: I want just that, renewables, and the rest have to disappear.
We know very well that in the last 200 years all the different energy vectors has been added. So coal plus oil plus gas and plus renewable. We never found a source—energy source that replace everything. It’s crazy to think that there is something that can replace everything. For that reason, the transition, we have to accept that we have some infrastructure for what we spent billion and billion that are hard to abate, so we have to capture, and we need to use all the different technologies. If we think that we have to choose some technology by an ideological approach, it’s crazy. Technology is neutral. There is no religion. It’s not a god, a technology. We have to use to face the transition.
So I think that when we talk about energy, first of all, we have to know what you are talking about. There’s competencies. Everybody talk about energy, everybody talk about COVID and make a big confusion, and they create a big mistake, and now we see what happen. It’s not just Russia. The gas price is not just Russia, because for seven year we underinvested—we invested just 45 percent of what we invested in the previous seven years until 2014. Then we have Russia. Then we have COVID. So I think that’s—the worldwide leadership was not wise and without any equilibrium in evaluate the energy situation.
HADLEY GAMBLE: Does it worry you—this historic agreement that the Biden administration has cut with Europe, does it worry you in terms of getting extra supplies of gas to Europe? Where’s that gas going to come from? Because there are already long-term contracts. Coming from Qatar, I was just speaking with the Qatari energy minister about this a couple of days ago. And then when we think about what’s happening with US production as well, where is that going to come from to make up that shortfall? Are they realistic, do you think?
CLAUDIO DESCALZI: I don’t know. I didn’t talk about that with US, and so maybe you know better than me. Clearly, if you had to replace 160 billion cubic meter, is not—clearly, is not an easy task.
We don’t have enough LNG, first of all. We are still spare capacity in the north of Europe because we have two Europes, north and south. South is gas, LNG. North, we have nuclear, coal, wind, and the re-gasifier. But we still have 30 billion of spare capacity in the existing re-gasifiers. If 160 billion disappear, this—you cannot replace. And from where they come?
You know, the situation is until two months ago nobody talk about gas, and for seven, eight years. So how you can start overnight in a business that is long term and you say, we need 160 billion? And how you can do?
In the south, I talk about Italy. We have pipes. So we have Algeria. We have Libya. We have Egypt. We have Congo. We have Mozambique. So the south is more connected with the south. But Europe never thought to be connected with Africa. Europe is an empty box in terms of energy. We don’t have our own energy. In the US, you have energy and a good market. In Europe, we have a good market but without energy. We never thought about a strategy about energy security. So when you don’t have something, we have to think about what you can, you know, cope with the future.
Africa is the only answer at the moment. US can be, but US has 120, 100 billion already committed. They can develop more. I don’t know, maybe yes; I don’t know the situation. But it’s not enough. Africa is a good opportunity because they need development, we need gas, and that is a good combination. But must be fair. So if we take something, we have to give something.
HADLEY GAMBLE: Yeah.
Majid, I want you to come in on that one especially. I mean, where—first of all, the question where is that gas going to come from. And also, the failure of policymakers, frankly.
MAJID JAFAR: Yeah. So, no, I agree with Claudio. If we go back to the question, the title of the session, “Will Energy Security Derail the Energy Transition?” again there’s been this sense that the two are somehow in opposition, and you’re seeing that in the media today. Of course, they’re not. There can be no energy transition without energy security—and affordability, as we heard.
And the focus has been too much on supply—you know, how do we starve supply—you know, as if starving investment into oil and gas is going to solve climate change while demand keeps growing. Of course it’s not. I mean, that’s as ridiculous as trying to solve obesity by starving funding to sugar and wheat farmers and not making any changes in diets or policies of how food is consumed. Climate change is fundamentally a consumption issue. So the wrong focus has been there throughout.
Another key focus that’s been missing—and it was good to hear Dr. Sultan speaking about the plans for COP-28—is the developing world perspective. We have almost a billion people without electricity. That number has, unfortunately, gone up during COVID. Three billion people without clean cooking solutions. That’s actually killed more people during the COVID pandemic than COVID itself, according to the World Health Organization. Eighty percent of the world’s yet to even get on a planet. And yet, the kind of platitudes and prescriptions that have been coming out of Western governments to Africa, Asia, the developing countries is: You don’t need stable grid power like we have it; you can make do with a solar panel and a battery. Well, what’s happened? There’s been more burning of coal. So, actually, you’re having more emissions and higher energy prices. So this issue of the underinvestment has been key.
And it cannot just be—as Minister Suhail Mazrouei said earlier, it can’t be: Yes, yes, we need more oil and gas, but just in the very short term. Oil and gas is not a short-term business. It requires hundreds of billions of dollar of investment—as we heard, there’s a deficit of $200 billion—and it’s long term. So recognizing the importance of that.
Now, it will be produced cleaner—it has to be—and it will be used differently. But gas is a fundamental enabler of renewables—because it backs it up, because it’s intermittent—and it’s the path to future technologies like hydrogen. And oil, even if we’re having electric vehicles, they’re made of oil. Solar panels are made of oil. Wind turbines are made of oil. Everything we’ve relied on during COVID, from masks to sanitizers—every single vaccine has had glycol as a stabilizing agent, another oil product. That message has not been understood in particular in Western markets, the ongoing need for oil and gas.
Now, how we produce it? We, as Crescent, over 50 years we’ve migrated now to 85 percent natural gas. We’ve brought down our emissions, flaring to practically zero. We’ve offset the rest to achieve and declare net zero last year, not in 2050.
But even more importantly is the benefit of the product. So the gas we produce in the Middle East, by displacing liquid fuels like diesel for power generation, avoids more CO2 emissions annually than all the Teslas on the planet. And that fact is underappreciated, the important role of natural gas displacing coal in a lot of Western economies and in Asia, and in our region here in the Middle East liquid fuels. So those facts really need to be better appreciated. We’re having this schizophrenia in many Western governments.
And I comment the UAE’s policy, the Strategy for 2050 that the minister talked about, because it’s very, very clear. It’s about 40 percent gas backed up with—backing up 40 percent renewables, plus nuclear and other clean technologies. Energy has to be long-term, clear strategic thinking, not flip-flopping with the latest technology trend or geopolitical event.
HADLEY GAMBLE: Tim, I want to bring you in on that. I want to bring you in on that, Tim, specifically, because when you think about what happens next with regard to the transition, that’s the fundamental question. Does this derail the transition, in your mind?
TIM HOLT: I don’t think it derails the transition; I think it accelerates the transition. And you know, we had talks also with the German minister of economy and climate action, and he clearly said stronger focus on renewables, stronger focus on hydrogen. I think it’s now what’s the alternative. Everybody’s looking at how can we substitute the Russian gas. LNG, the re-gas is one, but the other one is push hard on the energy transition.
I will caution a bit; it’s always easy to set more aggressive targets. We need more renewables. The question is, how do we get it done? And I think that’s a big question we all need to answer. You know, sometimes I hear, well, we need the technology and we need the financing. My view on it is we have a lot of the ingredients; it’s just the implementation.
And if you just look at implementation times, take the US offshore. We’re talking about it. Until we—until we see the first green kilowatt-hour produced, we’ll be probably 2030.
The huge buildout on the offshore in Europe, it’s great. It’s up in the—in the North Sea. How do we get it to the load centers, transmission lines? We’re building a big HVDC line from northern Germany to southern Germany, where the load is; three years’ delay just due to permitting.
I think there’s a lot of inefficiency in the system. And if you really want to accelerate the energy transition, I think the focus should also be how do we take these inefficiencies out of the system and how do we really, really—instead of opening up additional topics, how do we just focus on the—on the pure get it done, get all the stakeholders together and get it done? And that will buy us time to do the longer-term transition topics.
HADLEY GAMBLE: Yeah.
And I think that’s a general theme that we were hearing earlier from His Excellency, talking about OPEC is not a political organization, echoing Mr. Barkindo and his comments, obviously, last night, talking about we have to find a way to stabilize the market in spite of the fact that we’re working with two countries under sanctions, the importance of taking the politics out of the conversation. But it’s impossible to do that, especially when you’re a journalist, I think. Fahad, walk me through, in you view, how realistic it is for Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other Gulf producers to, I suppose, talk to the Biden administration? You’re sitting here on a stage with a member of that team now, and there have been multiple calls from Washington for OPEC+ to do more, for OPEC to do more to alleviate the pain at the pump, if you will, in the United States. Because they’re not talking about the European gas crisis back at home; they are talking about oil inching to $5 a gallon. Is it realistic, in your view, for Saudi Arabia to help the Biden team out?
FAHAD ALAJLAN: Thank you, Hadley.
First, let me state that King Abdullah Petroleum Center for Research and Studies is a nonprofit institution. It’s a think tank that focuses on energy and climate. So I don’t speak for the Saudi government.
But you know, looking at, you know, what the Saudi—Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait to a certain degree has done in the past, they’ve maintained spare capacity. And that spare capacity has been used and it’s been a boon for the global economy, and we estimate that at $500 billion of surplus to the—to the global economy because they had the long-term vision of saying that if there is a disruption in demand—if there is, you know, a hiccup in the global oil supply—then there is a way of compensating for that.
But we cannot take, you know, energy security and only talk about this from oil supply demand. You know, the old adage which says, you know, if your neighbor lose his or her job, it’s a recession; if you lose your job, it’s a depression. The same goes here. I mean, the whole question is we talk about energy security like it’s something new. Unfortunately, it’s not. Go back 10 years, go—and we’re talking about energy security and piracy in the Strait of Malacca and the Strait of Bab al-Mandab. Seven, eight years we talked about, you know, energy security and cybersecurity.
And so we cannot talk about oil supply, you know, as just one component of the energy security. We need to look at this. We need to look at, you know, what the discussion has been around, you know, OPEC+ and OPEC+ bringing stability into the market through the lows and highs. We witnessed that back in 2020 with the agreement to, you know, reduce supply when oil went into negative prices. And that’s what we want to continue, is to look at this, you know, in the long term.
Again, you know, if you go back to the 2008 crisis and the financial crisis, in the runup to that, the more that I remember, you know, Saudi would announce an increase in supply and the more crisis—the prices would go up because, you know, spare capacity would, you know, be dwindling. And so the markets need to have a signal around, you know, the stability of the market, and that OPEC+ is attending. And I think you can see that with the monthly meeting, with the clear plan that is, you know, not focused on today but that’s focused along, you know, 2022. And that’s the agreement that has been done over the past two years.
But I think, again, you know, we look at this from, you know, what is happening in Saudi with the attacks, what is happening in the UAE. But also, I think we need to pay attention to energy security, you know, not today, not tomorrow. It’s all over, you know. So, you know, we spoke about this issue around, you know, the compromise between climate change and energy security. And if you—you know, in the runup to COP—and I was at Glasgow at that time—nobody would mention energy security. And I think that’s, you know, a fallacy. If you listen to His Royal Highness the Energy Minister of Saudi Arabia Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, he’s been talking about these three pillar of energy policy—that it should focus on energy security, economic growth, and climate change. And we need to keep all three in mind.
We’re not achieving, you know, our climate goals tomorrow or, you know, in the next two years, yet our policy look like it is, you know, focused on the next two years. And we’re not focusing on emissions; we’re focusing on sources and, you know, we don’t want nuclear because it’s that, we don’t want gas because of this, keep oil in the ground. That’s, I think, a misleading energy policy. We should be very focused on emissions. We should be very focused on how can we reduce emissions. I mean, shale gas delivered, you know, the biggest reduction in emissions in the US. Why are we denying emerging economies the same opportunity?
HADLEY GAMBLE: Yeah.
Claudio, just from the conversations that you’ve been having since you’ve been on the ground here in the UAE, can you give us a sense, in your view, if we can expect oil- and gas-rich nations to answer President Zelensky’s call to do more? And he’s essentially saying, echoing the US president, that we should sanction the Russian energy sector and countries like the UAE have a responsibility to flood the market with oil and gas. Do you get a sense that the Gulf states are willing to do that?
CLAUDIO DESCALZI: I’m not a politician. It’s already difficult to run my company. If I start also thinking for them, it’s too much, honestly.
So I think that UAE, they know, and the European politicians, they know what to do. They discuss a lot. We have a concern about gas price. That is big concern because it’s too much, as you said. And we are concerned about volumes. And until now, nothing happen on the gas side, on the—on the crude side. I think that gas is more crucial and more difficult to be replaced. Clearly, 10 million, if it disappeared—10 million not all because to Europe is 5 million—we can find a way, maybe, to find some additional oil. For gas, it’s more difficult, honestly.
As Eni, we start immediately run in all our countries and working on our upstream. Fortunately, we didn’t stop investment in desperation. We have been one of the few companies that never stopped investment in desperation. Now we have about 50 tcf of reserves resources and 14 tcf that we can deliver quickly. So I think that for Italy at least we can replace 50 percent of the gas coming from Russia during the winter ’22-’23 and about 80 percent by the next winter, ’23-’24. And in a—in couple of years, three years, we can replace completely based on our equity production coming, I said, through pipes and through LNG.
That is for our country, for our companies. I don’t think that is same because not all the company has been really engaged in desperation, as we said, because gas was one of the—of the guilty person in the room. So I think now the situation change, but I don’t think that—so we have to look at the energy security from one side, but there is no tradeoff with the transition. I think that we have to increase in any case our path and our effort on the transition side.
HADLEY GAMBLE: Deputy Assistant Secretary, I want to get your sense of how far the Biden administration is willing to go to help out US producers, and I’m talking about helping them get through red tape. Is the Keystone Pipeline back on the table at some point if we’re realistically talking about doing something to move forward—not lose speed, if you will, or steam towards the energy transition, but at the same point make sure that people can afford to go about their daily lives? What’s on the table that the Biden administration is doing now to help the US oil and gas producers?
ANNA SHPITSBERG: So from that standpoint I don’t know if you saw the US-EU energy statement—joint statement on energy security. And there was a signal very much and a component of the issues that the task force will put together that we’ll work on is making sure that Europe can get supply within 2022, but then also giving some certainty to US producers that will be amping up and surging supply into Europe over the long term and up to 2030—and of course working together on the regulatory side, making sure that the environment for permitting is still there, which has been there. The process has been there to get permits online for LNG, and that continues. And we committed to continue to make sure that that is a smooth and streamlined process, and it is a streamlined process on getting infrastructure that needs to be there for Europe.
At the same time, for us, when it comes to the transition and making sure we’re not compromising it—because, again, we cannot afford to compromise it—to the comments that were made that we cannot rely on one technology just like we cannot rely too heavily on one supply route, it is the reason that we’re putting so much money into hydrogen, which is such a game-changing technology that speaks to a variety of other sources, right? Because it can underpin nuclear. It can underpin gas. It can underpin renewables. It can clean a good portion of it, and so can CCUS. And so for us it’s making sure that the market has enough signals, it knows the regulatory environment will support the signals for current energy security, but we are sending also all the resources we can toward the transition. That’s why we’re putting billions of dollars into hydrogen R&D.
And I have faith we’ll get there. And I have faith because I was at Department of Energy when we had dollar-a-watt goal by 2020 for utility-scale solar. We beat that by three years. We didn’t even remotely have that level of momentum. So now, looking at a dollar per kilogram by 2030 for hydrogen, honestly, I’m optimistic. I’m optimistic we can get the commercial technology there, and it’s going to be the technology that will allow us to utilize other bases.
But we have to focus on clean technology. We have to focus on building an efficiency into the system. It can’t always be about putting new infrastructure. We talk about often energy access and how countries need sometimes to build new infrastructure. They also have a lot of underutilized infrastructure. And what we don’t want is for them to add debt to add additional gas infrastructure, oil infrastructure, coal infrastructure when they’re not even utilizing what they have. There are underlying issues, and we want to make sure that the path to decarbonization is a realistic path. It’s one built in with efficiency.
We are focused on emissions, reducing emissions everywhere, and creating technology in the US on the R&D side, and bringing that cost down so that it benefits everywhere and everyone. And so that’s how we’re trying to balance those signals and the funding, which is a big—a really big component of that.
HADLEY GAMBLE: No doubt about it. And also it’s about messaging, and I’m talking about the demonization of the oil and gas sector. Now, it’s hard to feel sorry for IOCs, but at the same point demonizing them and playing politics is a part of the reason that we’re in the mess that we’re in today. What will the Biden administration commit to in terms of reaching across to these oil and gas producers? Because the ones that I talk to say we’re not getting calls from the White House. We’re hearing that we’re getting calls, but we actually are not getting calls. And you’ve got to have them, as Claudio was saying, part of the conversation if you want to get out of the mess.
ANNA SHPITSBERG: There have been conversations with oil and gas companies. And messaging, let’s be honest, depends who you’re listening to and when, of course. There are a lot of different messages out there, and I’m sure the forum will make a difference. But we will be honest, we have always come out and said oil and gas industry is critical to the transition. They are—they are players in the energy system. They are key players. They are the ones that will be pushing abatement options. They’re the ones that will be pushing hydrogen options. And to be quite honest, they’re some of the ones that are putting significant investment into clean energy, including renewables.
So it has always been if we do not engage these participants, these critical stakeholders, we will not get to our stakeholder targets. We will not get to methane-reduction goals. We will not get to efficiency goals. So the messaging has been oil and gas companies have to be a part of the conversation, but we want them also to be a part of the conversation on the transition.
HADLEY GAMBLE: Right. I think the White House might need to take your call on that one.
Majid, before we let everybody go, you’re my guy when it comes to calling oil prices. Where do you see oil prices headed at this point?
MAJID JAFAR: So I think they are being so driven by geopolitics at the moment that it’s impossible to—it’s not—it’s not normal market dynamics that we’re seeing. We were seeing tightness coming out of COVID, but obviously the conflict in the Ukraine and the signaling you’re hearing from Western governments is what’s driving the market. So I—this time I won’t actually make a prediction.
I want to echo what Claudio said, actually praise what Eni’s been doing on exploration here in the UAE and Egypt and throughout our region. And I think our industry can play an important role. We ourselves have also 80 tcf of resources and 15 tcf that can be delivered actually in only two fields in the Kurdistan region in the north of Iraq. I invite you all to attend the session this afternoon on that.
One point I wanted to raise, I’m seeing a lot in the media at the moment that, hey, we need to get off Russian oil and gas and move to nuclear and renewables because that will ensure we are politically secure. So I did a bit of looking into this.
So OPEC is 30 percent of the world’s production; OPEC+, about 40, 45 percent. And it’s 23 different countries, and they don’t even make up a majority of supply. We’re honored with brother Mohammad Barkindo, the secretary general of OPEC, here.
Nuclear. Russia produces basically all the world’s uranium-235 and has half of the world’s uranium enrichment. One country, and a country that’s controversial to many at the moment.
Renewables. China alone has 85 percent of rare minerals processing, 90 percent of all the battery cells produced on Earth, 70 percent of all the solar panels produced on Earth, and 50 percent of the wind turbines. One country, China—again, to the US and Europe, a lot of issues around trade and geopolitics.
So the idea that somehow the energy transition is going to make us immune from geopolitics is a myth that needs to be exploded and recognized now in all our planning.
HADLEY GAMBLE: And it’s interesting that you mention that because sitting onstage with Vladimir Putin back in October I can tell you that this was a man who fundamentally understood where all of his resources were. He understood exactly how the world was interconnected when it comes to energy and he understood the European energy dynamic probably better than most of the people even involved in the European energy dynamic, certainly the politicians. And the world, frankly, was sleeping.
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