Director, Ali I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center (ANPERC)
Professor, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering – Physical Science and Engineering Division
Climate change will dominate most public policy decisions in Saudi Arabia and the region during the next decade. For the world's climate to remain within 2°C of current temperatures by the year 2100, CO2 emissions must peak by 2028 and a -3.8% decline rate of CO2 emissions must follow (SIAM's global climate modeling app). Consequently, global oil production must peak within the next few years. In the meantime, coal production peaked in 2013 (but started increasing again in 2017-2019), and production from US shales will peak within the next 3 years.
There is a one-to-one correlation between global GDP and oil supply; indeed, oil and gas are the main drivers of economic growth. For example, the carrying capacity of the Arabian Peninsula has been 3-5 million people for millennia, yet, the current population is 85 million people thanks to electricity, desalinated water, and urban infrastructure, all made possible by oil and gas. Climate change and emission restrictions will put today's developments into deep peril.
Oil and gas will fuel the transition from fossil fuels to a more renewable "green" future. However, detailed analyses reveal the interwoven complexity between energy, climate, clean water, food supply, and "mineral criticality" for the energy transition. In addition, oil and gas are the main sources of raw materials for the expanding petrochemical industry in Saudi Arabia.
The global conditions outlined above inform both the context and background for ANPERC's plan of action, which takes into consideration Saudi Arabia's future energy needs and economic development (highlighted in italics):
The previous analysis highlights the energy challenge facing humanity in an era of global warming and ecological deterioration. Given their interwoven complexity, energy production in the 21st century will be defined through combined fundamental and applied research that integrate mathematics, physics, engineering, geology, petrophysics, geophysics, geochemistry and geomechanics.
These observations define our vision and mission:
Contribute unprecedented physics-based engineering solutions for subsurface energy resource recovery and geo-storage with reduced environmental and economic costs that have decisive impact to the Kingdom and the world.
Build a multidisciplinary, collaborative learning and research environment for faculty and students to advance scientific knowledge and engineering solutions while educating future science and industry leaders.
Learn more about ANPERC’s Research.
Learn more about ANPERC’s associated Education programs.