On Monday, a global energy conference devoted to future technologies and low-carbon strategies began in Houston, with top executives from the country's largest corporations reaffirming the need for more oil for decades to come.

The four-day World Petroleum Conference began with chief executives from Exxon Mobil Corp, Chevron Corp, and Halliburton Co, three of the largest U.S. companies by market value, all emphasizing the importance of delivering oil and gas globally even as the world transitions to cleaner fuels.

The conference lost some of its star power early on due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions that forced OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo and energy ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cancel their plans to travel to Houston.

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"We in fact are going into a period of scarcity. And I think that for the first time, in a long time, we will see a buyer looking for a barrel of oil, as opposed to a barrel of oil looking for a buyer," said Jeff Miller, CEO of energy services firm Halliburton.

In 2021, global fossil fuel demand has rebounded sharply, with natural gas already at pre-pandemic levels and oil approaching 2019 levels. This is despite the fact that large global majors, particularly those based in Europe, are limiting exploration and production in an effort to shift to renewable energy development, and governments are promoting efforts to reduce carbon emissions in order to deal with rising global temperatures.

The virus's impact comes as the industry struggles with natural gas and power shortages in Asia and Europe as a result of output losses caused by the pandemic. Travel restrictions have resulted in a drop in energy prices, which reached multi-year highs this autumn.

Oil rose 3% to around $72 per barrel on Monday, in hopes that the Omicron variant would be less damaging to demand and after Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of OPEC raised its official selling prices to Asia and the United States on Friday.