Scotland considers a future without oil and gas. Ian Wood has a recurring nightmare. The 77-year-old billionaire, who made his fortune off the back of the North Sea oil boom in his native Aberdeen, worries about what will be left for future generations in the north east of Scotland if the region fails to diversify away from its reliance on hydrocarbons. The half-a-century-old oil and gas basin continues to defy those predictions, with announcements of new discoveries at the same time as new technologies and methods are allowing previously inaccessible deposits from fields with complex geology such as Mariner — first discovered in 1981 — to be finally brought into production. “They need to face the fact that we simply can’t drain every last drop of oil from the North Sea if we’re to tackle the climate emergency,” said Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace, whose protesters targeted North Sea oil rigs last year. A number of oil companies are supporting carbon capture projects in areas such as Peterhead and Teesside. Hydrogen power projects have also been developed in places such as Orkney.But both CCS and hydrogen face significant funding challenges. Large-scale projects remain several years off. Meanwhile, UK oil and gas production is once again increasing after a sharp decline in the 2000s and output is now higher than at any time since 2011, leading to accusations that it is simply business as usual for most North Sea operators. “Talking up unproven carbon-capture technologies as an excuse to carry on as before will only make the transition more painful later on,” said Mr Parr.
FT 20th Jan 2020 read more »
The world’s energy watchdog has warned the oil and gas industry that it risks a public backlash by failing to act on the climate crisis in favour of making short-term profits. The International Energy Agency (IEA) said oil companies must balance their desire for near-term returns and a long-term future by playing a much more significant role in combating the climate crisis. The IEA is preparing to make its most direct call for oil companies to help tackle the climate crisis at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos on Tuesday. The oil and gas industry faces “twin threats” to its financial profitability and social acceptability, according to the IEA.
Guardian 20th Jan 2020 read more »