Monday, December 5, 2011

OPEC: We want clean energy – ‘Increasing climate effects are an unquestionable reality’

Representatives of Middle East oil producers attending the opening session of the World Petroleum Congress in Doha, Qatar. Steve Hargreaves

By Steve Hargreaves
5 December 2011

DOHA, Qatar (CNNMoney) -- Representatives from a half-dozen OPEC nations acknowledged Monday what many U.S. politicians won't -- that global warming is indeed a problem.

The representatives attending the World Petroleum Congress -- a week-long gathering of oil industry executives and government officials held every three years -- outlined steps their countries are taking to move toward cleaner, renewable energy.

"Increasing climate effects are an unquestionable reality," said Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar. "Developing clean and renewable resources is a goal fully supported by oil and gas exporters."

The opening session of the conference focused on ways the Middle East can help solve the world's energy challenge: dealing with the dependency on a dirty form of fuel that's becoming ever more expensive and will someday run out.

Of course, increasing investment in oil production is a top priority.

The minister from Bahrain detailed several new projects his country is undertaking, and the Kuwaiti minister said his country plans on investing $180 billion over the next two decades in oil field development.

With that investment, Kuwait hopes to increase its oil output to 4 million barrels a day from the current 3 million barrels a day as early as 2020.

But oil ministers from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates also talked about solar projects their nations are building. Those projects are still modest in size compared to projects in the United States, Spain or other places, but include plans for big expansion going forward. […]

OPEC members: We want clean energy

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