Carbon Management is 'the Future': Oxy
The oil and gas company of the future will also be a carbon management company, the CEO of US producer Occidental Petroleum Vicky Hollub told the CeraWeek online conference March 2. She said the world did not want to eliminate fossil fuels, but only the carbon that is emitted in its consumption. "Net zero carbon oil is what the world needs," she said. "The Paris Accord needs the help of the oil industry and we are excited about that."
One of the tools to do that is carbon capture and storage (CCS), and she said that the US Biden Administration "knows the importance of CCS in mitigating climate change.
She was speaking with the CEOs of other producers including Adnoc from the UAE, US Chevron and Saudi Aramco, who also made the point to panel chairman Dan Yergin that emissions reduction and environmental, social and governance standards (ESG) had long been part of their corporate ethos.
Chevron CEO Michael Wirth said that it was incumbent on the sector to reduce and eliminate methane emissions too, and robust monitoring and reporting were needed in order to produce meaningful baseline data. He said a mix of voluntary and regulatory incentives were needed to keep the methane within the infrastructure. He said he welcomed the focus investors were placing on ESG, as that had been part of the Standard Oil – the US oil monopoly that was broken up, creating Chevron among others – founding principles almost a century ago. "It is a chance for us to tell that story," he said.
Commenting on the power outages in first California and recently Texas, he said the need for reliable electricity was key; and gas is a very important part of the mix. That also explained the company's all-share takeover of Noble, which had onshore US acreage as well as a developing gas production position in the eastern Mediterranean.
Saudi Aramco's CEO Amin Nasser also noted that ESG has always been a “big part” of Aramco’s strategy. “Our Master Gas System was built in the 1970s and by eliminating flaring, the system alone has removed 100mn metric tons/yr of CO2 since then,” he said. Looking ahead, Nasser emphasised the “huge potential” for hydrogen fuel cells to compete with batteries for electric vehicles.
Owing to the cost of green hydrogen he said that blue hydrogen at a half to a third of the price would be the natural first step. But with time both would become cheaper. Aramco is also experimenting with ammonia as an energy storage system but a lot of aquifers are needed to sequester the CO2.
Adnoc CEO Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber commented that some sectors of life would be hard to decarbonise but CCS was "an opportunity, a game-changer" and the company was ready to work with partners inside the sector and outside it to encourage CCS adoption.