Yamani sees end of the oil era and hydrogen future

March 23 | Updated: Mar 24 2006, 05:30am hrs
Sheikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani, the former Saudi oil minister, said the main source of energy in the future will be hydrogen, causing the end of the oil era.

The high price of oil is causing consuming nations to more rapidly develop alternative energy sources, Yamani said today in London, where he is chairing a conference for the Centre for Global Energy Studies, which he founded.

The price will remain high for some time until the major oil consumers will be able to be independent from oil, especially from the Gulf region, he said. We have seen the future: The main source of energy will be hydrogen. It will be the end of the oil era.

Yamani was Saudi Arabias oil minister from 1962 to 1986. The conference, to discuss geopolitics and the future of energy, is being attended by natural resources ministers and other officials from countries including the U.K., Brazil, Canada and Mexico, as well as representatives of major oil companies including BP Plc and Kuwait Petroleum Corp.Yamani said political conflicts could cause the price of oil to go higher, leading to a global economic decline.