I'm Jordan Blum, editorial director at Hart Energy here at CERAWeek by S&P Global, and I'm joined by Bjørn Otto Sverdrup, executive chair of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI).
Jordan Blum: So can you tell me what OGCI I members are, are most focused on right now?
Bjørn Otto Sverdrup: So, OGCI is initiative bringing together 12 of the largest oil and gas companies in the world. And I think they are trying to focus on quite a lot of things at the same time now, because that's really what's needed ...if you're in the energy business. So I think for first and foremost, of course, it's to provide energy, which is [in] scarcity, but it's vital to the way we live our lives. So providing energy's [a] top focus. At the same time, we also need to reduce the emissions from the energy system. So I would say both of them are equal importance and it's the key to the OGCI members and for sure to the organization that we are working with.
JB: So like you said, you kind of have that dichotomy of the production, but also reducing emissions. I mean, how challenging is it to balance reducing emissions while we're trying to increase global production volumes and, you know, promote more energy security, especially with everything going on in Ukraine?
BOS: So I think energy is such an important part of how we live our lives, right? So we need to make sure that we have access to that and ideally as affordable as possible. At the same time, it's been very clear for a while now that ... We cannot fix climate without looking at the energy system because the energy-related emissions are such a big part of the climate challenge. So to me, it's not either or. We need to be able to manage both the access to energy and at the same time to lower the emissions. And often as, and I think also going forward, you will see that those two things are coming together. I think we're seeing the dialogue is now more pragmatic towards that. And also you'll see this dialogue is gonna create a lot of impact going forward on both emissions reductions, but also open up new sources of energy.
JB: Of course, methane emissions are a big issue. I mean, can you talk about kind of how companies are reducing emissions throughout the value chain from, from flaring to pipeline leaks and so forth?
BOS: And so methane emissions are a very important part of the challenge and in particular want to address in the shorter term. If you're going to have a number for that. It's billions of tons of the climate issues related to methane emissions. So it is important matter and the oil and gas industry as with other, you know, has a key role to play. And as you're right now, we know it's an invisible gas, but we now know much more where those ... Emissions leakages are coming from and we are better equipped to address it. Over the last years, I think we are now starting to see some of the very important ingredients for how to fix this coming together. The awareness is much higher. Over the last year, more than 75 of some of the most important companies in this industry have checked in to say, we are aiming for zero methane emissions. And also on the toolbox side, you're seeing big progress. It's possible to both detect and fix methane leakages. And now we're having those two together. So you're starting to see big results and emissions coming down.
JB: How focused is OGCI on carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects? In the U.S. Obviously there's new federal funding with the Inflation Reduction Act.
BOS: So carbon capture and storage will have to play a very, very important part in the future energy system. The scientists are clear on that. We would need to give birth basically to a new industry. And the oil and gas industry has a fundamentally important role to play to make that happen. So for OGCI, we have been working with that since its inception. So we have been involved in trying to kick start more than 10 projects worldwide. We have mapped the geological structures, so to make sure that storage can be done. And I think very interestingly, we also mapped where would you have large emission sources of CO2 and how could you bring those together to create net zero industrial clusters? You know, basically having industry, fertilizer, cement, chemical that it also can be viable in a net zero future. So carbon caption storage or net zero industry thinking is to me very important and is very important for the companies. And this, maybe, used to be birds on the roof, but now it's happening. So you're seen large scale announcements being made in the U.S., in the Gulf region in Europe, and projects are in the way of a big, big scale. So I'm excited to that. And for sure, the, the recent policy shifts in the U.S. Is going to accelerate this development.
JB: You mentioned the U.S. Gulf Coast, that's obviously one potential geographical cluster or hub as you said. Can you talk a little bit more about just globally where some of the other ideal locations are?
BOS: So just the U.S. or the Houston Ship Channel, it's a hotspot because here you have a large-scale petrochemical industry, you have chemical industry, you have fertilizers, so you have big emission sources. So clearly the, the U.S. Is a place where CCUS needs to happen, so to speak. Right, right. Where else would you look? So the Gulf peninsula, the Emirates, Saudi, where you have large-scale concentration of industry energy-rich energy intensive industry, but also you have proximity of good geological storage. So that's another important hub. But we also done this worldwide to see there are a couple of other areas that needs to really speed up on carbon capture for us in order to ... Build it into a billion tons industry. Two notable geographies would be China, but also India, because both of those are important industrial regions. In, you know, as a bit of a paradox where you will see the most mature projects today is in Europe. And Europe is important, but we will never be successful with only Europe doing this.
JB: But you're pleased with the progress? I know things are maybe happening a little slower in like China and India, like you talked about.
BOS: I think India for sure. I mean, there's so many challenges in India and then there. So CCS is not on top of the agenda, right? But I think it's starting to be recognized to be an important part of the solution, and I think you'll see a lot of progress there. Similarly, I think [there's] a lot of dynamics in China on CCS. So I'm 100% convinced it's going to happen at scale in China in the coming years.
JB: Switching gears just a little bit and obviously this is good, but a lot of companies have ambitious net zero emissions goals. But are enough of the companies doing enough to measure and verify, improve that they're hitting their targets, that they're on the right pace?
BOS: I think the short answer is, no. But I should say more about that because I think we should celebrate and be very grateful or cherish actually that companies are checking in on the energy transition, right? Accepting the challenge. They dare to put forward ambitions and targets. I think that's a good thing. But of course it's not sufficient because ultimately it's the actions ... That's the results that's needed to see. And here, I think finding good ways of measuring progress and ... Trying to report on that in a transparent way is, is needed. The OGCI members and the bigger, larger companies already doing that. But we need to broaden the tent. Small companies need to come along, but also national companies outside of typical the western part of the world need to join this journey. But ... I've been coming to for many years now, and if you take a bit of a balcony view over the last five, six years, it's a radical change happening here. Because very few of us talked about climate and energy or you know, climate specifically a few years back. Now it's on everybody's mouth. Some of the ideas that were, you know, thrown around on hydrogen or CCS, they were ideas. Now you're seeing large scale projects being presented with either millions or billions of dollars in investment behind them. So I think we've come a long way over the last five years, and I'm very excited to see where we're gonna be in five years.
JB: Thank you so much for taking the time.
Learn more about OGCI online at hartenergy.com.
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