Three US oil majors commit to climate change action

Article by Amanda Doyle

EXXONMOBIL, Chevron, and Occidental Petroleum have joined the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), a group of oil and gas companies seeking solutions to mitigate climate change.

The OGCI was established in 2014 as a voluntary initiative of the world’s oil and gas companies working towards climate change solutions. It focuses on developing solutions in areas such as carbon capture and storage, methane emission reductions, and energy efficiency. ExxonMobil and Chevron refused to join in 2014 but have now done a U-turn due to pressure from investors.

The three new members will each contribute US$100m to the existing OGCI fund of US$1bn to develop low emissions technology and business models. The addition of the new companies brings the OGCI’s reach to around 30% of global oil and gas production.

Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil, said:

“It will take the collective efforts of many in the energy industry and society to develop scalable, affordable solutions that will be needed to address the risks of climate change. Our mission is to supply energy for modern life and improve living standards around the world while minimising impacts on the environment. This dual challenge is one of the most important issues facing society and our company.”

Vicki Hollub, president and CEO of Occidental, said:

“Occidental is advancing carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery as a form of carbon capture, utilisation and sequestration. We are the industry leader in this technology, which has the potential to help achieve global goals for reducing emissions, and welcome the opportunity to work with OGCI to contribute to this critical effort.”

In a joint statement, the heads of the OGCI member companies said:

“Over the past four years, OGCI has brought together international and national oil and gas companies to accelerate the deployment of concrete solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Our ambitions increase each year and as we welcome three new member companies, we will continue to build momentum and strengthen our collective reach and impact to deliver practical action on climate change.”

The Environmental Defense Fund welcomed the decision. Fred Krupp, president of the EDF, said:

“This is a good strong goal, and these companies deserve real credit for that. The OGCI ambition sets a new bar by which the whole industry will be measured. Ultimately, the true test of leadership is transparency and results. It will be critical now for companies to follow through on their commitment, reporting on progress with actual measured emissions, fully and publicly disclosed.”

Meanwhile, news website Quartz has reported that India’s Reliance Petroleum has left the OGCI and the company has not responded to Quartz’s requests for comment. The 13 companies currently in the OGCI are BP, Chevron, CNPC, Eni, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Occidental, Pemex, Petrobras, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell, and Total.  

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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