WASHINGTON – The International Energy Agency’s executive director, Dr Fatih Birol, testified before the United States Senate on Tuesday about the agency’s global market outlook.
In his testimony to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, chaired by Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Dr Birol outlined four large-scale shifts in the global energy system that will set the scene for the coming decades, and which were analyzed in detail in the IEA’s recent World Energy Outlook 2017 report.
These four major trends are the rapid deployment and falling costs of clean-energy technologies; the growing electrification of energy; the shift to a more services-oriented economy and a cleaner energy mix in China; and the resilience and further growth potential of shale gas and tight oil resources in the United States.
In particular, Dr Birol noted the resilience of shale oil and gas in the United States, and the remarkable ability of producers to unlock new resources cost-effectively. This has pushed the combined United States oil and gas output in 2040 to a level 50% higher than any other country has ever managed.
“This is an impressive feat, which cannot be overstated,” Dr Birol said. “The United States is poised to become the undisputed oil and gas producer in the world over the next several decades.”
After delivering some opening remarks, Dr Birol answered questions from several senators. His written testimony and a recording of the session can be found here.
While in Washington, Dr Birol also held a bilateral meeting with Deputy Secretary of State John S. Sullivan to discuss developments in the global energy markets, and their implications for the United States. He also presented the World Energy Outlook 2017 to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. His presentation can be seen here.
IEA Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol (left) and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska