IEA warns oil companies doing nothing on emissions is not an option

Daniel Fowler
January 22, 2020

"Also, with their extensive know-how and deep pockets, oil and gas companies can play a crucial role in accelerating deployment of key renewable options such as offshore wind, while also enabling some key capital-intensive clean energy technologies - such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage and hydrogen - to reach maturity", Dr Birol added.

The energy sector can transform without the help of the oil and gas industry, the report reads, but that is a more hard and expensive path.

The report, produced alongside Davos organiser the World Economic Forum, lays out the "ample" opportunities it claims exist for O&G players seeking to back the move to renewables.

IEA executive director Fatih Birol (pictured) said: "No energy company will be unaffected by clean energy transitions".

It found that "the industry can do much more to respond to the threat of climate change". Doing nothing is simply not an option, "he said".

See here to read the story in full, as originally published by PV Tech's sister title Current±.

Birol said a large part of these emissions could be brought down relatively quickly and easily by investing in technology that can stop methane leaking from fossil fuel projects into the atmosphere.

The outlook for the oil and gas industry in 2020 is based on a survey of more than 1,000 senior oil and gas professionals and in-depth interviews with industry executives.

The IEA noted that some companies have started their journey into the energy transition, investing in renewables and low-carbon solutions.

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"Without the industry's input, these technologies may simply not achieve the scale needed for them to move the dial on emissions", said Birol.

In a report to be presented at the the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday, the IEA has said failure to address demands to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would threaten oil and gas companies' profits and social acceptability.

"For CCUS, three-quarters of the carbon dioxide captured today in large-scale facilities is from oil and gas operations and the industry accounts for more than one-third of overall spending on CCUS projects".

The oil and gas industry is estimated to account for more than half of the global greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy consumption, with some research suggesting that the sector is responsible for as much as 71% of global Carbon dioxide emissions.

Shell has a three-year target starting in 2019 to reduce its carbon footprint by 2 to 3%, while ExxonMobil has invested $ 9 billion over almost two decades in low-emission energy solutions.

It suggests stepping up investment in fuels such as hydrogen, biomethane and advanced biofuels, with these low carbon fuels needing to account for around 15% of overall investment in fuel supply if the world is to get on course to tackle climate change.

"The scale of the climate challenge requires a broad coalition encompassing governments, investors, companies and everyone else who is genuinely committed to reducing emissions".

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