After being a pair of Scrooges for the past two years, oil and gas majors BP and Total have rediscovered the joys of treating themselves to shiny expensive presents this holiday season. The gloss comes from access to new low-cost production now and in the future — gifts that keep on giving.
When oil prices started sliding in mid-2014, most oil and gas firms had little choice but to tighten their belts, postponing and cancelling projects, reducing headcount and focusing on efficiency. Two years on, this disciplined approach to spending has made them leaner and, as a result, more confident in their ability to weather the storm of oil prices staying lower for longer. Continue reading
“You spent more on this event than you do on renewables,” claimed a protester’s banner outside the Shard, the UK’s tallest building, last Friday.
The message was aimed at participants in the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) – some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies including Saudi Aramco, Shell, BP, Total, Italy’s Eni, Norway’s Statoil and Spain’s Repsol. Seven chief executives assembled in the Shard to pledge a total investment of $1bn over 10 years “to develop and accelerate the commercial deployment of innovative low emissions technologies”.
“The media and the public often mistakenly see Silicon Valley as the sole developer and purveyor of game-changing technologies. But as recent years have proven, the energy sector is a hi-tech pioneer, constantly inventing, testing and improving technologies and techniques around the world,” says Rex Tillerson, chief executive of ExxonMobil, the world’s largest international oil and gas company.
“We are climbing that learning curve. It is still early in the tight oil reservoirs. Our expertise today is about where we were several decades ago with conventional reservoirs,” says ConocoPhillips chief executive Ryan Lance, referring to unconventional, US tight oil extracted from shale formations – or shale oil.
Russian energy minister Alexander Novak and Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanne were chatting and smiling before and after a high-profile session at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul last night.
And it is not surprising, as Total is one of the largest international investors in Russia’s oil and gas industry, including at the 16.5mn t/yr Yamal LNG project in the Arctic.