Millennium Post

Global uncertainty on energy was pronounced in 2016: Saudi oil expert

The year gone by was marked by huge uncertainty on the energy front with anti-globalisation events, on one hand, conflicting with the interconnectedness of the market as demonstrated by the volatility in global oil prices, a renowned Saudi expert on the oil industry said here.

"The sheer volume of unexpected events in 2016 is overwhelming for the sheer twists and turns," said Abdallah S. Jum'ah, former President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, one of the world's largest oil companies, while addressing the opening session of the World Energy Policy Summit here.

"Two aspects of the global geo-economic environment are particularly striking. First, the high degree of uncertainty on the trajectory of recent developments," he said, referring to the difficulty in predicting whether policies and events during 2016 would have implications that are transitory or long-term.

"At the same time, significant developments at the national and regional levels, particularly in energy development, show how interdependent the world is," he added, giving the example of the volatility in global oil prices witnessed in 2016.

Highlighting the anti-globalising trends during last year that have increased the levels of uncertainty, Jum'ah cited the British vote to exit the EU (Brexit), the election of Donald Trump as US President with his declared intent to take America out of the UN talks on climate change, as well as the continuing war in Syria.

"The combination of uncertainty unleashed by recent developments along with global interconnectivity means that we are living through turbulent times," the Saudi expert said.
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