Additional Companies Are Joining The Carbon Reduction Movement

Additional Companies Are Joining The Carbon Reduction Movement

The movement to reduce carbon footprint is accelerating around the world. Saudi Aramco has joined with European and U.S. super majors representing a third of the world’s oil industry to begin curbing emissions at their own operations as the clamor builds for the biggest polluters to act on climate impact.

Members of the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative, a group of big oil companies working on ways to respond to climate change, pledged to reduce the carbon intensity of their operations to between 20 and 21 kilograms of carbon dioxide per barrel of crude equivalent by 2025. That represents a reduction of as much as 13% from 2017 levels.

The target only refers to “intensity,” meaning it allows producers to increase their overall emissions, but they’ll have to be cleaner on a per-barrel basis. It also doesn’t include customer emissions, referred to by carbon accountants as “Scope 3,” which typically add up to more than 90% of an oil company’s total footprint.

But the target is higher than the 18 kilograms of carbon dioxide per barrel averaged by members of the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers, which represents about 40% of the industry. Bob Dudley, the former BP Plc CEO and chairman of OGCI, said the new target is significant because it brings together privately owned and state oil producers around a common goal.

“It’s a start,” Dudley said in a phone interview. “I don’t think it’s a small achievement to bring all these companies together — national oil companies, who have their own pressures, European and U.S. companies have different government and shareholder pressures on them — actually work together, particularly during the pandemic.”

An aggressive goal has been set to remove as much as 52 million tons of carbon dioxide per year has to be archived by 2025.

Aramco has been actively investing in sustainability for decades,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement on Thursday. “Since the 1970s, the company has been investing in flare-minimization and the installation of a gas-recovery system.”

European oil companies such as BP, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA, have announced some of the most aggressive emission reductions targets, but have been criticized for a lack of detail and for giving themselves until the middle of the century to achieve carbon neutrality. U.S. majors such as ExxonMobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. have set no firm targets across all their emissions. By contrast, the OGCI target is “near-term, which means it’s practical and can be measured,” Dudley said.