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Saudi Aramco chief executive Amin Nasser speaks during a news conference at the Plaza Conference Center, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Nov. 3, 2019.Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters

Saudi Aramco Chief Executive Amin Nasser said on Thursday that investment in oil and gas was needed to run alongside new energy investments until the latter can realistically support rising consumption.

“We all agree that to move towards a sustainable energy future a smooth energy transition is absolutely essential but we must also consider the complexities and challenges to get there,” he told the B20 conference in Indonesia via video link.

“We have to acknowledge that the current transition is not going smoothly,” he said.

Nasser has said Aramco aims to achieve net zero emissions from its operations by 2050 while also building hydrocarbon capacity and expanding its maximum sustained production capacity to 13 million barrels per day.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, aims to reach ‘net zero’ emissions of greenhouse gases – mostly produced by burning fossil fuels – by 2060.

On Thursday Nasser said investments in hydrocarbons had to go hand in hand with new energies as demand for conventional energy would likely prevail for, “quite some time.”

“As the global economy has started to recover there has been a resurgence of demand for oil and gas but since investment in oil and gas has fallen supplies have lagged which is why we see very tight markets in Europe and parts of Asia,” he said, stressing that he was not advocating for a change in climate goals.

“I am proposing that investment in both existing and new energy be continued until the latter is developed enough to realistically and significantly be able to meet rising global energy consumption.”

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