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Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia targets net zero emissions by 2060

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By Yousef Saba and Saeed Azhar, Marwa Rashad in a Reuters article that is about how Saudi Arabia targets net zero emissions by 2060 cannot be more explicit about this top oil exporter is obviously struggling to keep up with the current trends of worldwide deep resentment against all fossil fuels. The forthcoming COP26 will definitely enlighten us on this aspect as well as on the major contributors to Greenhouse Gas Emissions plans.

Meanwhile here are the main points of this article:

  • Doubles target to reduce carbon emissions
  • To tackle climate change while ensuring oil market stability
  • Could hit target before 2060, energy minister says

RIYADH, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s crown prince said on Saturday that the world’s top oil exporter aims to reach zero-net emissions by 2060 and will more than double its annual target to reduce carbon emissions.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his energy minister said OPEC member Saudi Arabia would tackle climate change while ensuring oil market stability, stressing the continued importance of hydrocarbons.Report ad

They were speaking at the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI), which comes ahead of COP26, the UN climate change conference in Glasgow at the end of the month, which hopes to agree deeper emissions cuts to tackle global warming.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aims to reach zero-net emissions by 2060 under its circular carbon economy programme … while maintaining the kingdom’s leading role in strengthening security and stability of global oil markets,” Prince Mohammed said in recorded remarks.Report ad

He said the kingdom would join a global initiative on slashing emissions of methane by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030, which both the United States and the EU have been pressing.

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry is due to attend a wider Middle East green summit Riyadh is hosting on Monday. read moreReport ad

Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said Riyadh, a signatory to the Paris climate pact, had already submitted its nationally determined contributions (NDCs) – goals for individual states under global efforts to prevent average global temperatures from rising beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The SGI aims to eliminate 278 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year, the crown prince said, up from a previous target of 130 million tonnes.

Saudi Arabia in March pledged to reduce carbon emissions by more than 4% of global contributions. It said that would involve generating 50% of its energy needs from renewables by 2030 and planting billions of trees in the desert state. read more

HYDROCARBONS STILL NEEDED

Saudi Arabia’s economy remains heavily reliant on oil income as economic diversification lags ambitions set out by the crownprince.

Saudi officials have argued the world will continue to need Saudi crude for decades to come.

“The world cannot operate without hydrocarbon, fossil fuels, renewables, none of these will be the saver, it has to be a comprehensive solution,” the energy minister said.

“We need to be inclusive and inclusivity requires being open to accept others efforts as long as they are going to reduce emissions,” he said, adding that the kingdom’s young generation “will not wait for us to change their future”.

He said the net zero emissions target might be achieved before 2060 but the kingdom needed time to do things “properly”.

Fellow Gulf OPEC producer the United Arab Emirates this month announced a plan for net zero emissions by 2050. read more

The chief executive of UAE oil firm ADNOC, Sultan al-Jaber, also stressed the importance of investment in hydrocarbons, saying the world had “sleepwalked” into a supply crunch and that climate action should not become an economic burden on developing nations. read more

GREEN PUSH

Saudi Arabia has been criticised for acting too slowly, with Climate Action Tracker giving it the lowest possible ranking of “critically insufficient”.

And experts say it is too early to tell what the impact of Saudi’s nascent solar and wind projects will be. Its first renewable energy plant opened in April and its first wind farm began generating power in August.

Megaprojects, such as futuristic city NEOM, also incorporate green energy plans including a $5 billion hydrogen plant, and Saudi state-linked entities are pivoting to green fundraising.

Some investors have expressed concerns over the kingdom’s carbon footprint. Others say Saudi Arabia emits the least carbon per barrel of oil and that de facto ruler Prince Mohammed is serious about economic diversification.

“Obviously the carbon footprint is an issue. However, we would highlight that realistically carbon is going to be slow to phase out, and oil is here for some time yet,” Tim Ash at BlueBay Asset Management said in emailed comments.

Reporting by Yousef Saba and Saeed Azhar in Riyadh, Marwa Rashad in London and Maher Chmaytelli in Dubai; Additional reporting by Raya Jalbi in Dubai; writing by Ghaida Ghantous; editing by Nick Macfie and Jason Neely


Climate TRACE Lifts The Veil On Oil & Gas Emissions

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Climate TRACE Lifts The Veil On Oil & Gas Emissions
bDeborah Gordon & Frances Reuland posted by RMI could be considered an eye-opener for those petro economies of the MENA, whilst the planet seems
to be more and more inclined to opt for decent life sustainability. Let us see:

Climate TRACE Lifts The Veil On Oil & Gas Emissions

When it comes to climate, oil and gas are the 800-pound gorilla in the room. The production and refining processes for oil and gas account for about one-tenth of human-made greenhouse gases (GHGs), making the sector one of the world’s largest emitters. But it is far less clear where in the world these emissions actually come from, which parts of the supply chain are responsible for them, and how much they shift over time. This climate-critical sector has historically been too opaque, making it difficult to create credible climate pledges and nearly impossible to take immediate and meaningful action to mitigate emissions.

However, with today’s launch of Climate TRACE, we are a step closer to having clearer answers about the origins and amounts of GHGs in the atmosphere. Climate TRACE is the world’s first comprehensive accounting of global GHGs based primarily on direct, independent observation. It was named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 best inventions of 2020 and now, we are excited to share why.

Driven by satellites, remote sensing, and advanced applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning, Climate TRACE identifies when and where greenhouse gases are emitted. This enables leaders to pinpoint and prioritize specific decarbonization efforts to yield the greatest reductions. This level of focus is critical, as we have just nine years to halve emissions and stay on track to hold global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

Informing Effective Climate Action

The intelligence gathered from Climate TRACE fills critical knowledge gaps for all countries that rely on the patchwork system of country self-reporting. This self-reported data serves as the basis for most existing emissions inventories, such as the country-level emissions data submitted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The intelligence collected by TRACE is particularly relevant to the more than 100 countries that currently lack access to comprehensive, recent emissions data.

RMI is a proud member of the TRACE coalition and has been particularly focused on helping to make emissions from the global oil and gas sector visible, starting at the country level. Our latest analysis reveals several key insights that can help policymakers identify the right actions to pursue today.

In both production and refining, the top 15 countries in each category account for over 70 percent of emissions.

The path to global decarbonization starts with knowing where emissions come from. Just 15 top production countries and 15 top refining countries account for the lion’s share of oil and gas sector emissions. Several countries, including the United States and Russia, pollute doubly, emitting massive amounts of GHGs from both oil and gas production and refining. Others are top emitters in terms of production or refining, but not both, as shown in the two figures below.

Each country can focus its GHG reduction strategies on where it emits most (production, refining, or both). This will be critical when it comes to tracing and reducing emissions from petroleum supply chains.

Self-reporting today is wholly inadequate — many top oil and gas emitters don’t even track their emissions.

Overall, emissions from the large, intensive oil and gas sector are poorly accounted for. Among the world’s top countries that submit regular GHG inventories, emissions from oil and gas production and refining may collectively be around double the amount in recent UNFCCC reports. Further, it is likely that over 1 billion additional tons of CO2 equivalent per year—more than the annual emissions of the 100 lowest-emitting countries combined—have gone uncounted by nations that aren’t required to report their oil and gas emissions regularly.

This is, in part, a result of haphazard accounting and convoluted reporting in current inventories. For example, several high-emitting oil and gas operations, such as surface processing, hydrogen production, and catalyst regeneration, are not reported uniformly in country inventories. This leads to missing or hidden emissions.

Furthermore, reporting requirements vary among different countries due to historic UNFCCC designations, resulting in inadequate country assessments of global oil and gas emissions. Some countries (designated as “Annex 1” nations) typically submit regular inventories on a two-year delay. Other countries (non-Annex 1) are not subject to the same guidelines and don’t report regularly. This hodgepodge approach makes it difficult to carefully track emissions trajectories and obtain up-to-date information to make informed climate decisions.

Of the top countries for global oil and gas production and refining, fewer than half are required to regularly inventory and report sector-specific emissions (see Figure 2).

Drilling down to the level of oil and gas assets and operations reveals further opportunities to reduce emissions.

While quantifying and differentiating country-level emissions is critical, expanding transparency beyond national data reveals new opportunities to slash GHG emissions. Even within a country, the climate intensity of oil and gas can vary markedly. In the United States, for example, a barrel of heavy oil from California can be 10 times dirtier than a barrel of low-leak light oil from Texas. The same holds true for gas production and oil refining. But this emissions gap can be significantly narrowed through available operational improvements.

Greater visibility on oil and gas assets and operations offers insights that countries can use to submit more accurate emissions inventories and climate pledges. As the granularity of TRACE data improves over time, decision makers will be able to pinpoint emissions from specific sites and operations, both in the oil and gas industry and in other high-emitting sectors. With this climate intelligence, we can quickly cut oil and gas sector emissions as we strive to meet global climate and sustainable development goals.

Bringing Transparency to COP26

To chart a clean energy transition, we must bring transparency to emissions-intensive sectors like oil and gas. For production and refining, the Climate TRACE platform bolsters accountability that is currently lacking when countries self-report their emissions. The platform also offers all countries access to reliable, accurate, and timely emissions data across all sectors of their economies.

This data is especially important as world leaders head into climate negotiations at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November. With the launch of Climate TRACE, every country’s leaders can now inform their decisions with data that reflects current emissions trends, rather than outdated or incomplete estimates. Bringing transparency to emissions will be critical to prioritizing the most meaningful, timely, solutions—after all, we have no time to waste.

Courtesy of RMI.

Learn more at https://www.climatetrace.org/.

Ditch 90% of World’s Coal and 60% of Oil and Gas

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The authors of this article on Climate change and elaborate on how to avert it through experts’ notable advice of a ditch of 90% of the world’s coal and 60% of oil and gas to limit warming to 1.5°C. Would it be feasible if some of the MENA countries economic life sustenance depends on fossil fuels related revenues? Here is what these authors are saying.

Climate change: ditch 90% of world’s coal and 60% of oil and gas to limit warming to 1.5°C – experts

Daniel Welsby, UCL; James Price, UCL, and Steve Pye, UCL

Global mean surface temperatures reached 1.2°C above the pre-industrial average in 2020, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in its recent report that Earth could hit 1.5°C in as little as a decade. The 0.3°C separating these two temperatures make a world of difference. Scientists believe that stabilising our warming world’s temperature at 1.5°C could help avoid the most serious effects of climate change.

Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas are the source of just over 80% of the world’s energy. Burning them accounts for 89% of human-derived CO₂ emissions. To avert catastrophic warming, the global community must rapidly reduce how much of these fuels it extracts and burns. Our new paper, published in Nature, revealed just how tight the world’s remaining carbon budget is likely to be.

In order to hold global warming at 1.5°C, we found that nearly 60% of global oil and fossil gas reserves will need to remain in the ground in 2050. Almost all of the world’s coal – 90% – will need to be spared from factory and power plant furnaces. Our analysis also showed that global oil and gas production must peak immediately and fall by 3% each year until mid-century.

Fossil fuels still provide most of the world’s energy. Rudmer Zwerver/Shutterstock

Even meeting these stringent limits may not be enough on its own to stabilise global warming at 1.5°C, however.

That’s because we based our estimates on a carbon budget compatible with just a 50% probability of limiting warming to 1.5°C. Our model simply could not be pushed to a greater chance of achieving the 1.5C target because it was already at its limit, given our projections of fossil fuel demand in the near future.

Our analysis also relies on the large-scale deployment of technologies capable of removing CO₂ from the atmosphere sometime in the future. By 2050, our scenario expects around four gigatonnes a year will be being captured by so-called negative emission technologies. There remains a lot of doubt about whether it is even possible to sufficiently scale these technologies up in time.

So, to aim for a better chance of achieving the Paris Agreement’s goal and to lower the risk of relying on as yet unproven technologies, we argue that our estimates of how much of the world’s fossil fuels cannot safely be extracted should be treated as cautious underestimates. The world may need to be even more ambitious.

Fossil fuel rationing

We estimated how much fossil fuel production in each region must fall and how fast based on a global energy system model. We allocated the remaining shares of fossil fuel production allowed within the budget based on the costs and carbon intensity of producing different oil and gas assets, and how cheap low and zero-carbon technologies are in different parts of the world.

Our analysis showed that total fossil fuel production is limited by a global carbon budget. Production growing in one region of the world will require a decrease in another to keep the global trajectory pointing downwards. A mechanism such as the Global Fossil Fuel Registry – a public database of all known reserves – could provide the necessary transparency for an international effort, with the cooperation of governments and fossil fuel producers.

The US and Russia sit on half of the world’s coal but must leave 97% of it in the ground. Australia, which recently pledged to keep producing and exporting coal beyond 2030, would need to keep 95% of its reserves underground. Oil-producing states in the Middle East must not extract around two-thirds of their reserves, while most of Canada’s tar sand oil must not be burned, along with all of the fossil fuel buried beneath the Arctic.

Our analysis suggests that many countries will need to move out of fossil fuel production relatively quickly, which raises concerns about how the transition can be managed fairly. Countries such as Iraq and Angola have a high dependency on fossil fuels for government revenues. They will need support to diversify their economies in a managed way – including financial and technological assistance to develop new low-carbon industries – and to decarbonise domestically to reduce their own reliance on fossil fuels.

The necessary energy transformation highlighted in this research will require a range of policy levers, including measures that drive down fossil fuel consumption, such as banning petrol cars or promoting renewable electricity generation, and those targeting production itself, including restrictions on new fossil fuel extraction licenses.

Alliances between countries are also likely to be important to build political support for reducing fossil fuel production. The Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, formed by Denmark and Costa Rica, has pressured other countries to halt investment in new oil and gas projects.

Phasing out global fossil fuel production at the rate suggested in our study is possible, but it will rely on some of the measures we’ve described expanding and gaining the support of large producing countries and companies – those which have benefited most from the fossil fuel era.

Daniel Welsby, PhD Candidate in Energy Systems, UCL; James Price, Senior Research Associate in Energy, UCL, and Steve Pye, Associate Professor in Energy Systems, UCL

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

More Emissions from Oil Refineries in the near-term future

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We can expect more emissions from oil refineries in the near-term future, analysis finds. It is by Cell Press and published in Phys.org as well as other media.
Oil refineries are, as we all know, mostly within the US, Chinese and Russian territories but crude oil and gas that were mainly from the MENA region are nowadays explored all over the world. It is consequently not a matter of refining only but of transporting the crudes to the refineries various locations as well as doing with all those stranded assets. Anyway, let us see what is this story is about

The image above is for illustration and is of Arsenal Energy

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

A global inventory has revealed that CO2 emissions from oil refineries were 1.3 Gigatonnes (Gt) in 2018 and could be as large as 16.5 Gt from 2020 to 2030. Based on the results, the researchers recommend distinct mitigation strategies for refineries in different regions and age groups. The findings appear August 20 in the journal One Earth.

“This study provides a detailed picture of oil refining capacity and CO2 emissions worldwide,” says Dabo Guan of Tsinghua University. “Understanding the past and future development trends of the oil refining industry is crucial for guiding regional and global emissions reduction.”

Climate change is one of the most fundamental challenges facing humanity today, and continuous expansion of fossil-fuel-based energy infrastructure may be one of the key obstacles in achieving the Paris Agreement goals. The oil refining industry plays a crucial role in both the energy supply chain and climate change. The petroleum oil refining industry is the third-largest stationary emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, contributing 6% of all industrial greenhouse gas emissions. In particular, CO2 accounts for approximately 98% of greenhouse gases emitted by petroleum refineries.

In the new study, Guan and his collaborators developed a publicly available global inventory of CO2 emissions from 1,056 oil refineries from 2000 to 2018. CO2 emissions of the refinery industry were about 1.3 Gt in 2018. If all existing and proposed refineries operate as usual, without the adoption of any low-carbon measures, they could emit up to 16.5Gt of CO2 from 2020 to 2030. Based on the findings, the authors recommend mitigation strategies, such as improving refinery efficiency and upgrading heavy oil-processing technologies, which could potentially reduce global cumulative emissions by 10% from 2020 to 2030. The inventory will be updated and improved in the future as more and better data become available.

The study also showed that the average output of global oil refineries gradually increased from 2000 to 2018, in terms of barrels per day. But the results varied by refinery age group. Specifically, the average capacity of young refineries, which are mainly distributed in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, increased significantly from 2000 to 2018, while the average capacity of refineries older than 19 years remained stable. “Given the greater committed emissions brought about by the long remaining operating time of young refineries, there is an urgent need for these refineries to adopt low-carbon technologies to reduce their CO2 emissions,” Guan says. “As for middle-aged and old refineries, improving operational efficiency, eliminating the backward capacity, and speeding up the upgrading of refining configuration are the key means to balance growing demand and reducing CO2 emissions.”


Explore further: Refineries challenge EPA plan to cut emissions


More information: One Earth, Lei et al.: “Adaptive CO2-emission mitigation strategies of global oil refineries in all age groups” www.cell.com/one-earth/fulltex … 2590-3322(21)00410-3  , DOI: 10.1016/j.oneear.2021.07.009

Investments in fossil fuels to retreat as climate crisis increases pressures on producers

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Taking a stand that the energy transition to cleaner sources is underway, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan of India said that fossil fuels would not have acceptability forever.
“Fossil fuels will be a bad word in the decades to come. There is a growing shift towards the clean energy ecosystem.” India, a would-be global leader, is one of many and counting throughout the world who are keen to jump ship ending up Investments in fossil fuels to retreat as the climate crisis increases pressures on producers.

There will soon be a time when all producers are made responsible for all the damage caused by climate change and be forced to pay for it; this applies equally to the Big Oils and to all OPEC+ countries.

The picture above is for illustration and is of Bloomberg’s. Private equity investors are pouring capital into fast-growing sectors such as solar energy.  Photographer: Jeremy Suyker/Bloomberg

Investments in fossil fuels to retreat as climate crisis increases pressures on producers

By Hadi Khatib, AMEInfo.com

 

Saudi and Russia believe fossil fuel demand will only increase, and cuts to investments in that sector are not in the offing. But major oil producers are feeling the pressure of meeting emissions targets

  • Almost 200 countries, including Russia and Saudi Arabia, ratified the Paris climate accord in 2015
  • The world was facing an acute oil shortage in the long-term due to underinvestment
  • Between 2010 and 2020, the cost of wind power fell by about 70%, and solar power by 89%

Two of the world’s largest oil-producing countries plan to defy the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) recommendations and continue investing in oil and gas, rejecting calls to drastically scale back the use of fossil fuels despite a deepening climate crisis.

Almost 200 countries, including Russia and Saudi Arabia, ratified the Paris climate accord in 2015, agreeing to pursue efforts to limit the planet’s temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The agreement requires net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Remarkably, the IEA delivered its starkest warning yet on global fossil fuel use last month, saying the exploitation and development of new oil and gas fields must stop this year if the world wants to reach net-zero emissions by the middle of the century.

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak (L) and Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud

Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said the IEA had ostensibly arrived at its findings “by using reverse calculations” on how to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

“It is a sequel of the ‘La La Land’ movie. Why should I take it seriously?” Abdulaziz said, according to Reuters.

His reaction to the report came shortly after OPEC and non-OPEC partners agreed to gradually ease production cuts in the coming months amid a rebound in oil prices.

Oil shortage

Igor Sechin, the head of Russian oil major Rosneft, said recently that the world was facing an acute oil shortage in the long-term due to underinvestment, amid a drive for alternative energy while demand for oil continued to rise.

Rosneft is the world’s second-largest oil-producing company by output after Saudi Aramco. It produces more than 4 million barrels of oil per day.

He expected some shortages to kick in from the second half of 2021.

Meanwhile, a court order to deepen carbon cuts for Shell was a new form of risk for oil majors, he said.

Oil giants’ emissions under pressure

Three major firms, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, and Chevron, have all taken serious hits to their business models of late.  

A quarter of Exxon’s board of directors is now composed of critics who have argued the company has been too slow in moving away from traditional carbon power. 

Chevron also saw its own investors vote for a proposal to cut emissions from their customers at a recent conference, even after its board urged them not to.

Meanwhile, Shell recently lost a major case in a Dutch court. It recently ordered the Anglo-Dutch company to slash its global greenhouse gas emissions, which stood at around 1.6 billion tons of CO2 equivalent in 2019, by 45% by 2030 in keeping with European climate promises. 

More lawsuits demanding other companies to cut back their emissions are likely to follow, in Europe and elsewhere.

The world is in the middle of a rapid energy transition. The use of coal in utility-scale American electricity generation has fallen by 62 percent since 2007. Much of that slack has been taken up by natural gas, but wind and solar account for most of the rest, and renewables are starting to make inroads into gas too. 

The main reason being prices: Between 2010 and 2020, the cost of wind power fell by about 70%, and solar power by 89%. Other technologies like energy storage will also contribute to making renewables easier to deploy.  

It may take decades, but the long-term business prospects of oil and gas are weak.   

Oil prices

The world’s most important oil-importing region, Asia, is showing signs of weaker physical demand with lower cargo arrivals in May and crashing refining margins as a COVID resurgence depresses fuel demand in India and other South Asian markets.  

Imports into the Asian region are estimated to have dropped in May to the lowest monthly level so far this year. Asia imported 23 million bpd of crude oil last month, down from more than 24 million bpd in each of April and March, and from 25.2 million bpd in February, according to data from Refinitiv Oil Research cited by Reuters’ Russell.

Still, crude oil futures prices rallied to a two-year high last week after OPEC+ reaffirmed plans to unwind another 840,000 barrels per day (bpd) of its total cuts in July. 

Most analysts, forecasters, OPEC, and the IEA continue to expect strong global oil demand in the second half of this year that would offset weakness in some Asian markets this quarter.