When any major economic report is published, very little attention is paid to assumptions that underlie the numerical forecasts and what underpins those assumptions.
It is a time-consuming process to check all this, so data from trusted organisations such as International Energy Agency are taken at face value.
However, TotalEnergies’ chief executive Patrick Pouyanne, with all the financial and economic experts at his disposal, cannot work out how the IEA managed to forecast, in May, that oil demand by 2030 would plunge by 30% under its net zero emissions by 2050 scenario.
TotalEnergies is predicting a 10% drop and is investing in projects accordingly.
Speaking at the company’s strategy day, he said “we disagree” with the agency.
“We do not understand how the IEA managed to reduce the demand for oil in 2030 to 70 million barrels per day. I don’t see it."
“If somebody can explain to me where it comes from, I would be very happy to listen. Maybe it will influence our strategy.”
Interestingly, the only oil companies invited to peer review the IEA's 224-page Net Zero By 2050 report were Shell, BP and Eni.
IEA boss Fatih Birol should give Pouyanne a call to clear up this matter — and invite TotalEnergies to review its next report.