HOUSTON—Could oil and gas—the energy power couple often referred to as one by industry insiders and outsiders—be headed for divorce amid growing ESG pressures?

That was the topic at hand as Stephen Perich, managing director and head of energy-Americas for UBS Investment Bank, took the stage Oct. 20 for Hart Energy’s Energy Transition Capital Conference. Like the breakup of cigarettes and beer decades ago, Perich pointed out, a divorce could happen with the right catalyst.

The two appear to be on divergent paths given differences in their carbon footprints. A collaborative and strategic approach is needed, considering natural gas pure-plays don’t exist, he said. The approach could help doubters see the benefits of natural gas, which remains tied to higher carbon-intense crude oil.

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