Global oil industry players are also concerned about threats from renewable energy technologies and rapid changes to the automobile industry. Majors including BP Plc have forecast that gasoline use will decline as electric vehicle usage grows.
General Motors Co Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra, in her first visit to the oil conference, is expected to detail plans by the largest U.S. automaker to launch 20 new electric vehicles by 2023.
Exxon Mobil Corp and others have said they expect rising petrochemical and aviation fuel demand to offset a drop in demand for liquid fuels such as gasoline.
The oil industry is also funding research into big-data, cloud computing and applying new technology to its operations to cut costs and boost production. In a sign of that convergence, the head of Alphabet Inc’s Google Cloud division also will attend the conference.
“The U.S. shale industry has turned out to be amazingly innovative and it’s like open-source software, with everyone experimenting and learning from one another,” said Yergin. (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; additional reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar in Berlin and Rania El Gamal in Dubai Editing by Gary McWilliams and David Gregorio)