Title Original Language:
Leading oil and gas into a net-zero world
Abstract in English:
The urgency of climate action has clouded the future of oil and gas in the energy transition. Pressure on oil and gas producers to adapt their operations to fit into a net-zero world has grown, from both policymakers and the investment community. But a supply crisis and price spikes have illustrated the danger of moving away from these fuels without a sufficient corresponding uptake of cleaner alternatives. Most models of the energy transition also suggest that continued petrochemical demand and use in transportation will ensure a considerable level of oil and gas demand, even in a net-zero scenario. Oil and gas will thus continue to play a key role in the energy transition. It will be incumbent on the industry, policymakers, and investors to walk a precarious tightrope, keeping markets stable through sufficient continued oil and gas production while pursuing ambitious decarbonization targets. Technologies like clean hydrogen and carbon capture, utilization, and storage, with the potential to lessen oil and gas’ traditionally emissions-intensive footprint, could help. So could carbon offsetting. But clarity is needed, and without it, supply-demand mismatches could rage on without any meaningful emissions reductions to speak of. For the transition to be both smooth and comprehensive, oil and gas will require both rigorous accountability and support for the practices and technologies that can help make them compatible with a net-zero world.