Saudi Aramco chief executive Amin Nasser says the global energy crisis has been accelerated by the Ukraine crisis, with a lot to be blamed on a flawed energy transition that has discouraged oil and gas investments.

Nasser told the CERAWeek conference in Houston on Tuesday that the global “energy transition process is still being dominated by [a] narrow group” — often without an understanding of the energy business, or the scale and complexity of the challenges.

“If alternative energy sources could have shouldered the burden, they would have. But ambition is still far ahead of reality,” he said.

Nasser noted the global crisis exposes the mixed signals delivered by policymakers to the oil and gas industry amid the energy transition.

"As oil and gas investments are discouraged, demands are being placed on our industry to increase production," he said.

Nasser highlighted the global oil production capacity available to ease supply shortages remains limited, indicating that there are about 2 million barrels, or 2% of world demand, of what he described as “effective spare capacity”.

He noted that all “energy resources will be needed to support a successful transition”, and the demonisation of the oil and gas industry is not helping to alleviate the global energy crisis.

“There are major gaps and real challenges [with transition], which only our industry can help with,” he added.

Nasser said the world needs a “consensus on the essential role of oil and gas with lower emissions, working side-by-side with alternatives, to meet the rising global call on energy and deliver on net-zero ambitions".

“We need to embrace new uses for hydrocarbons such as blue hydrogen combined with technologies like CCUS, without which net zero is unlikely to be reached,” he said.

Nasser, on several past occasions, has been critical of the ongoing global transition process, highlighting the shortfalls he sees.

In December, he said that unless the glaring gaps are filled in the ongoing energy transition strategy, “the chaos in the industry will only intensify".

The Saudi Arabian state-controlled company is spending billions of dollars to ramp up its oil production capacity to 13 million barrels per day but has also laid out an ambitious plan to achieve Scope 1 and 2 net-zero emissions by 2050.

Nasser believes that new and existing energy sources, including oil and gas, will both need to operate in parallel for much longer to come.