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Vicki Hollub, Oxy’s CEO: Texas failures show limitations of renewables

Vicki Hollub CEO

Vicki Hollub, CEO of Occidental Petroleum said this morning during a virtual energy conference, that the power blackouts in Texas and other states in the U.S. have shown the limitations of the renewable energy.

Firstly, Oxy’s CEO, spoke this morning, during the Virtual International Energy Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; she underlined that these extreme winter conditions were “unprecedented” for a century.

Secondly, she argued: “parts of the grid were just not prepared for it; they had not been weathered in properly. Texas has tried to be progressive regarding renewables, but this has shown that it is not just about putting renewable energy sources in place but being able to operate them when we do.”

In addition, earlier in the forum, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman expressed his support for the U.S., and for the states that have suffered subzero temperatures and severe energy outages.

“Our hearts and minds are with you, and as always Saudi Arabia does stand ready to extend any support we can send or render to our friends and family members.”

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Hollub on shale and energy transition

As we have reported previously, the blizzard in Texas knocked out nearly 40% of the Texas grid; sent prices to the roof with a reported 10,000% increase on the first day. It also affected nearly 2 million barrels of crude production, as well as a fifth of all the refining capacity in the state.

“In addition to the blizzard, the pandemic had a major impact; showed the vulnerability of shale development when capital is not reinvested,” Hollub said, and underlined that US shale needs reinvestment for greater scale; if not, decline would be greater.

In regards to the energy transition and the Biden administration, she also remarked. “Transition is something that has to happen in the US and also, around the world. We will not meet the Paris Agreement goals without it. However, no matter how high the oil price goes we have got to keep sustainable capital.”

Finally, Hollub remarked during the conference that technologies like carbon capture are most needed to meet the transition goals; nevertheless, renewable energy has to meet with higher standards to meet extreme weather conditions.

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