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Carbon emissions reduction ‘requires rigorous compliance’ to net zero strategies

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The carbon-intensive oil and gas industry is undergoing massive disruption with more countries and companies trying to implement net zero emissions by 2050 – but tackling emissions and supporting low-carbon industries will require a combination of well-designed regulation and increased investment in decarbonisation.

That’s according to GlobalData, which cites that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by oil and gas operations—also known as Scope 1 & 2 emissions—were reportedly accounted for 15% of the total energy-related emissions worldwide in 2022.

A further 40% of the energy-related emissions came from the use of oil and gas for power generation, heating, vehicle fuel, and industrial processes, also known as Scope 3 emissions. Against this backdrop, developed countries are aiming for net zero by 2050 while developing countries like China and India are aiming for 2060 and 2070, respectively.

GlobalData’s thematic report, “Net Zero Strategies in Oil & Gas,” provides an overview of the efforts to mitigate emissions from the oil and gas industry. It benchmarks leading companies, such as  BP, Equinor, ExxonMobil, TotalEnergies, and Shell, based on their emissions and net zero commitments.

Ravindra Puranik, Oil and Gas Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Oil and gas companies are currently working to reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions, generated by their operations. Several leading companies have set themselves the target to reach operational net zero emissions by 2050. To achieve this, companies are focusing on adopting new technologies, such as low-carbon hydrogen, carbon capture and storage; and making other operational changes like building renewable energy and biofuels capacities.”


The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) conference had called upon the participating countries to develop long-term net zero strategies. The COP27 summit of 2022 encouraged countries to consider nature-based solutions. The upcoming COP28 summits hopes to make grounds to fast-track energy transition and significantly reduce emissions before 2030.

Barbara Monterrubio, Energy Transition Managing Analyst at GlobalData, said: “To support global commitments towards climate change, countries and regulatory bodies have started introducing emissions trading systems or enhancing existing ones. This is pushing companies to strengthen internal targets and diversify their portfolios into clean and sustainable products and technologies. Even when the mitigation strategies approached by each company are different, they all converge on reducing emissions intensity and cutting operational emissions, reduce and stop flaring and include renewable technologies.”

Most net zero targets set by oil and gas companies cover Scope 1 and 2 emissions. To reduce Scope 3 emissions, oil and gas companies are switching their products to lower-carbon sources of energy including hydrogen, LNG, biofuels, and renewables.

Monterrubio concluded: “Even when a fast progress is being made in tackling upstream and downstream emissions, switching to low carbon products is a long-term process, with many oil and gas majors in the early stages of their energy transition strategy. A combination of well-designed regulations as well as huge investments are needed to tackle emissions and support low-carbon industry.”

Photo by Sugarman Joe on Unsplash

Oil and gas giants taking ‘measured’ steps for energy transition

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Oil and gas industry leaders are steadily incorporating transition fuels as well as low-carbon and zero-carbon energy sources into their portfolios, with the contributions of those fuels ‘pivotal’ for a successful energy transition and mitigation of carbon emissions.

GlobalData’s thematic report, “Energy Transition in Oil & Gas,” reveals that major oil companies such as BP, TotalEnergies, Shell, ExxonMobil, and Chevron have set net zero emission targets for 2050. The industry players are taking a variety of routes in their energy transition journey, including carbon capture and storage (CCS), hydrogen production, renewable power generation, electric vehicle (EV) charging, energy storage, and biofuels.

Ravindra Puranik, Oil and Gas Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Given the growing prominence of energy transition due to the increased awareness about the impact of fossil fuel emissions on climate change, the oil and gas industry will face international pressure, as the progress towards new energies becomes a particular point of scrutiny. Many governments are emphasizing the need to pursue cleaner fuels as alternative energy sources to mitigate the emissions.”

To meet their medium and long-term decarbonization targets, oil and gas players are investing in both existing and emerging technologies. Renewable power, particularly solar and wind, is one of the prominent areas where big oil companies, including BP, TotalEnergies, Shell, and Equinor are investing.

Puranik continues: “Oil and gas players are balancing their emission-intensive portfolios through the addition of renewable power projects, which could prepare them for the future market demands in the energy sector. This transition is further aided by regulatory support from major economies that have pledged to become climate neutral. In the medium term, however, emission mitigation technologies, such as CCS would help energy companies to persist with fossil fuels.”

ExxonMobil is one of the industry leaders pursuing CCS technology development and its commercial deployment. It is also investing in blue hydrogen projects that necessitate the use of CCS. On the other hand, European oil majors, such as TotalEnergies, BP, and Equinor are giving greater preference to green hydrogen, with proposed projects in Europe and Asia. Shell is investing in the growing EV market by effectively leveraging its global network of fuel retailing outlets to build EV charging infrastructure.

Puranik concludes: “The goal of this transition is to eliminate carbon emissions from the energy value chain over the long-term. Presently, oil and gas companies are taking calculated steps for energy transition but could become the dominant players over the coming years.”

Should you choose oil or gas for your business?

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As the threat of climate change continues to gather pace, one of the burning questions of our time remains: ‘how can we create a greener, more sustainable future that still allows businesses to thrive?’ Here, Flogas, examine the debate currently gaining traction. 

Central to solving this challenge is energy usage, and the fuel we depend on in our daily lives and commercial operations. As such, businesses across the UK are now looking at ways to become more fuel-efficient – not only to help lower their carbon emissions, but also to bring down energy bills and save money in the long run.

Nowhere is this debate more prominent than in the 16% of the UK not serviced by the main gas grid, which relies on alternative fuels to meet its energy needs. For the majority of off-grid operations, this means a choice between oil, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) or LNG (liquefied natural gas) for high-volume commercial applications. But what exactly are the differences between these fuels – and what should off-grid users consider when making decisions about their energy supply?

Click here to read the full article.