Please help keep this Site Going

Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

Europe’s Oil Giants Slow Green Goals, Focus More On Oil And Gas Production

Europe’s Oil Giants Slow Green Goals, Focus More On Oil And Gas Production

europe lng terminal

Big Oil is fashionable again in London and Paris.

After a year of record profits, Europe’s supermajors are shifting their focus back to fossil fuel production despite the implications for their pledges to reduce CO2 emissions.

It’s an approach already familiar to American giants Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., whose vision of the future has always stayed close to their oily core. [emphasis, links added]

Shell Plc, BP Plc, and TotalEnergies SE have spent the last few years trying to convince investors about the merits of net-zero carbon and investment in renewables.

But in 2022 they switched to showering them with tens of billions of dollars earned from pumping oil and gas, just like their US peers.

The change of course was triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which shifted governments’ focus back to energy security and created a huge gap in Europe’s oil and gas supplies that the majors are well placed to fill.

Oil production will be back above 2019 levels,” said BP Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney, a change in tone from 2020 when he suggested that peak demand may already have been reached. “Demand for this product is strong.

Shell has said it will pause the growth in spending at its renewables unit while expanding gas output.

BP slowed the planned decline in its fossil fuel production and scaled back its target for emissions reductions.

TotalEnergies is opening new liquefied natural gas import terminals in Europe so it can keep growing a business that expanded by 15% in 2022.

Investors have been voting with their wallets since the European and US majors began their strategic divergence a few years ago.

The American companies have earned consistently higher valuations as their focus on oil and gas delivered better returns.

Chevron alone promised last month to give $75 billion to shareholders through share buybacks, dwarfing similar programs at the European companies.

Pressure for a change in direction has been building for some time. In 2021, activist investor Dan Loeb’s Third Point LLC fund took a sizable stake in Shell and began pressuring the company to refocus on oil.

It’s not just petroleum where the Europeans are starting to chase American-sized returns — it’s lower-carbon energy too.

In recent years, Shell and especially BP had plunged into the lower-margin renewable power business, making big moves in offshore wind.

Now they’re highlighting other areas like biofuels and electric-vehicle charging, which offer better returns and a clearer competitive advantage.

Chevron and Exxon never made major efforts to become renewable electricity producers, a business dominated by utilities. Instead, they have pursued biofuels and could expand into carbon capture following the passage of President Joe Biden’s climate bill last year, which provides generous subsidies for the technology.

These processes are a more natural fit for Big Oil’s expertise in running complex engineering projects and dealing with volatile liquids and gases.

Read rest at Bloomberg

Trackback from your site.

Please help keep this Site Going