The CEO of the world's biggest oil company on Sunday claimed petroleum will continue to reign as the "most efficient" energy source for "at least a few decades" more.
But he added gas will rise in the power generation sector due to low carbon dioxide emissions and efficiency.
Saudi Aramco CEO Khalid Al-Falih was speaking to the Chosun Ilbo on the sidelines of the World Energy Congress in Daegu, which ends Thursday. Al-Falih became CEO of Saudi Arabia's national oil company in January 2009.
"The dominance of petroleum as a source of energy will remain in power for the time being. Yet, gas will enhance its position as a core source for power generation because of their efficiency and low carbon emission. Demand for coal will also increase due to cheap cost," he said.
According to the Joint Oil Data Initiative, Saudi Arabia sits on a quarter of the world's known crude oil deposits and pumps out 9.5 million barrels a day, 10 percent of global output. Aramco supplies around 34 percent of Korea's total crude imports and is the largest shareholder of refiner S-Oil with a 35 percent stake.
Al-Falih predicted crude output will rise in the years ahead as deposits that can be mined cost-effectively increases due to technological developments. He said a total of 1.3 trillion barrels of oil has been produced over the last 120 years and another 1.6 trillion barrels worth of deposits can be pumped out at present.
"What is important is that the amount of these deposits is growing every year," he said.
Global oil production volume stands at around 91 million barrels a day. "In 20 years it will be 110 million barrels," he added. Al-Falih stressed Saudi Aramco also in the past two years had swung its production by 1.5 million barrels per day to stabilize markets.
The company could invest more in Korea. "I won’t ignore a new investment opportunity if it arises," he said.
The CEO also spoke about Saudi Arabia's attempts to diversify its economy, which heavily depends on oil for 40 percent of GDP and 80 percent of tax revenues. The petrochemical, automobile and solar power generation industries have huge growth potential, he said.
"I want to say that our doors are always open to Korean businesses," Al-Falih added.