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What are the best energy transition strategies for oil & gas companies?


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  • Aug 5, 2021

Knowing that we are moving towards a decarbonized ecosystem where petroleum products will still exist, but their role in energy generation is going to be substantially less, what are the best areas for oil & gas R&D investments?  Which company(ies) have the best energy transition strategies?  Which companies are truly embracing this transformation and truly being sincere about their commitment to meeting climate change and decarbonization goals?  If you could tell the oil & gas companies anything about what they should be focusing on, what would that be?

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To my mind, the best transition strategies for oil and gas consider protection of natural habitats while closing operations. Also, repurposing as much of the technologies as possible while not eliminating jobs through employee retraining is high on my list of successful transitions.

Strategies for oil and gas companies, in my opinion, should pay as much attention to product purity as possible. that is, the product should contain as few harmful components as possible. To reduce harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

I've written at least one decent paper on the Oil & Gas Industry, including how I think they might evolve. It is linked below.

Oil & Gas, Present & Future | Energy Central

Note that this was posted in Nov, 2018, thus it's over 2 years old. I just read it, and the content is reasonable, but many external reference links may be out of date.

Also I have written more recent posts about peripheral issues, so if you have any questions, respond to this answer.


There are selected situations which require a quick response from the supply side to meet the market's demand especially when the renewable sources are not in a position to cope  with the challenge. Then the oil & gas companies may very well "step in" and "backup". 

On a client's prospective, oil & gas may be a powerful tool to cover when demand response programs are called. 

Bottom line: oil & gas will have their place especially associated with "peak" situations, as opposed to the traditional base load" ones. 

Choose a digital technology "driving" system, secure delivery standards safety points, balance carbon emissions across recycle and recovery efforts, and create new business plans for two, five and ten year transition company planning.

I wanted to give this set of questions a little more than a "typical" Q&A reply. This is a link to the post I provided in attempting to answer these questions as briefly as I can, there is so much you can say on the pressure and changes Oil & gas companies WILL undergo, either as they recognize change is unrelenting or simply get truely forced into sysmic changes

Today, Monday 9th August saw the release of the 6th Climate assessment by the IPCC. It is grim, sobering reading.

Simply put, if we do not get Carbon Dioxide out of our energy mix as fast as we can we are, I quote:

- facing increases in the frequency and intensity of hot extremes, marine heatwaves, and heavy precipitation, agricultural and ecological droughts in some regions, and proportion of intense tropical cyclones, as well as reductions in Arctic sea ice, snow cover and permafrost"

- I go on in a quote "Continued global warming is projected to further intensify the global water cycle, including its variability, global monsoon precipitation and the severity of wet and dry events"

- "increasing CO2 emissions, the ocean and land carbon sinks are projected to be less effective at slowing the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere"

- Many changes due to past and future greenhouse gas emissions are irreversible for centuries to millennia, especially changes in the ocean, ice sheets and global sea level.

Can we honestly support extracting fossil fuels and Oil and Gas companies need to "front up" to what they need to do to make massive, affective and fast changes while they have some of the control still in their hands.




I suspect that most of the oil, gas and coal companies will have Kodak moments. Its rare that a company firmly entrenched in an industry survives a wholesale transition of that industry to new technology - especially when it is fast and complete as the solar/wind revolution will be by 2040.

The really large investments in the energy transition are in solar & wind electricity production, which have little in common with fossil fuels. The world needs about 100 Terawatts of solar & wind to eliminate all fossil fuels via electrification, once all 10 billion people in 2050 catch up to US per capita levels of energy use.

Large investments are also required in transmission, pumped hydro, batteries, EVs, heat pumps and electric industrial furnaces. None of these are similar to fossil fuel extraction and use.

Hydrogen atoms for the chemical industry via electrolysis is dissimilar to fossil fuel extraction and use and the amount of hydrogen needed is modest.

There may be niches that allow some companies to survive, but at much smaller scale. One example is sustainable synthetic jet fuel created from carbon captured from the atmosphere and hydrogen from electrolysis of water.

Oil & gas climate responses should match their cash flow. Majors have the balance sheet for long term plays in offshore wind, increasingly in CCUS and hydrogen in a longer 5-10 year execution window. Most ESG graders approve these approaches. 

Midstream and independents can make a difference in emissions via solar and wind since those projects have abundant financing options and renewables can be scaled to match Scope 1 and possibly 2 emissions from their operations and the economic impact from job creation in communities they operate checks the “S” box for ESG. 

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