In with the new but not out with the old (yet)

Do we really know what NetZero means? Will it entail the end of the oil and gas sector? Hardly! What the future looks like is one where oil and gas co-exist with rapidly advancing cleaner energy supplies, but not one where they disappear. The full scale of the importance of oil and oil-based technologies and products is not the human race will be able (or indeed want to) walk away from.

Besides, the devil’s in the details. To quote from insideclimatenews, the vast majority of the emissions from oil come from fuel burned by cars, trucks or planes. But the net-zero pledges of most of the big oil companies do not cover these emissions. Instead, they apply to the direct emissions from producing, refining and processing oil and gas.

For the much larger share of consumer-driven emissions—known as scope 3 emissions—the companies have said only that they’ll reduce the ‘carbon intensity’ of their products, or the pollution per unit of energy they sell. That means total emissions could stay level or even grow, as long as a company sells more low-carbon energy like solar or biofuels to compensate for its oil and gas.

I mention this because Norway has come out this week saying it is to embark on an extensive exploration and production (E&P) push for oil and gas.

Norway’s government said  it has given approval for oil companies to develop 19 oil and gas fields with investments exceeding 200 billion Norwegian crowns ($18.51 billion), part of the country’s strategy to extend production for decades to come.

Among the field developments receiving final approval on Wednesday were nine operated by Aker BP, three by Equinor and several by Wintershall Dea and OMV.

There’s life in the old dog yet!

Marcus Alcock,

Editor, Emerging Risks