We live in a two-speed world. One, let’s call it the green world, is in a particularly hurry. She wants to decarbonize and electrify all production processes. In this world, oil and gas are very bad words. The second world – the brown world – has both feet on the brakes.
She wants to save the fossil past for the future and has no intention of looking humbly at the damage caused by 100 years of CO2 vaporisation.
world no 2 says: The fight against climate change is important, but our businesses are more important.
The President of this second world looks like Amin H. Nasser. He once attended King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and has been President of Saudi Aramco, the largest and most valuable oil exploration company in the world, since 2015.
The state oil giant, which has been in the hands of the Saudi Arabian government since 1980, now accounts for around 10 percent of global oil exploration. Now they want to increase annual production capacity from 12 million barrels per day to 13 million barrels per day and gas production even by 50 percent by 2030.
With this, Saudi Aramco is marching into a future that should look like the present. Or as the Financial Times writes: “Saudi Aramco is betting that it can continue to do what it does best: pump oil out of the ground.” reduce production.
The company rejects criticism of its expansion plans because the extraction of this Saudi Arabian oil would result in the lowest CO2 emissions of any oil in the world. In the first Sustainability Report that Saudi Aramco has just published, the phrases “lowest carbon” and “least carbon” appear 14 times: “As you know, we are the lowest emitters of greenhouse gases per barrel of oil,” he writes for the report responsible managers. He believes, “If Aramco increases its share of global oil production, it’s better for the world because it reduces the carbon footprint of the entire industry.”
You have to know: Of the total CO2 emissions of the oil industry, only 15 percent is attributable to extraction, but 85 percent to further processing and the combustion process in power plants, automobiles and airplanes.
It is questionable whether other oil companies are actually reducing their production. Especially now that things are going so well. In the brown world, other companies do good business too.
ExxonMobil already made a profit of $23 billion in 2021 and is likely to report another XXL increase in 2022. In the first three quarters of 2022 alone, the oil company posted net income of $42 billion.
In any case, one does not want to be treated by the EU Commission as an annoying polluter. So the American company ExxonMobil sued the European Union to get the oil companies to abolish the excess profit tax. On Wall Street, Exxon has meanwhile climbed back into the top 10 largest companies in the S
Exxon threatens EU withdrawal from Europe. Because: With an investment volume of more than three billion dollars, the company has been one of the largest investors in European refineries over the past ten years.
“We’re looking for solid business models that are underpinned by a stable and predictable investment climate,” said Exxon spokesman Casey Norton confidently. Then it becomes clearer than clear: “Whether we invest here depends primarily on how attractive and globally competitive Europe will be.”
For the representatives of the brown world, it is a blessing that wherever climate change is not the top issue, the largest amounts of oil and gas are stored. Almost 25,000 kilometers of new oil pipelines are currently being planned worldwide – enough to encompass almost two-thirds of the world. Around 10,000 kilometers of these are already under construction. These projects are led by the USA, followed by India, China and Russia.
For example, 2.2 billion barrels of recoverable oil are stored underground in Uganda. In this region – one of the poorest in the world – the China National Offshore Oil Corporation and the French company TotalEnergies have been building the world’s longest heated oil pipeline, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, since the beginning of last year. Once completed, the 1,443-kilometer pipeline is expected to produce around 40,000 cubic meters of oil per day. The heater is needed to heat the oil to 50 to 70 degrees to keep it pliable.
In Afghanistan, China has just struck a deal with the Taliban to develop oil fields in northern Afghanistan. The Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum
Conclusion: The green against the brown world, that describes the conflict of this century. Anyone who says this battle is lost in the face of the aggressiveness of the past towards the future is not well advised. Or to paraphrase Karl Jaspers: “Hopelessness is defeat that has already been anticipated.”
Gabor Steingart is one of the best-known journalists in the country. He publishes the newsletter The Pioneer Briefing. The podcast of the same name is Germany’s leading daily podcast for politics and business. Since May 2020, Steingart has been working with his editorial staff on the ship “The Pioneer One”. Before founding Media Pioneer, Steingart was, among other things, Chairman of the Management Board of the Handelsblatt Media Group. You can subscribe to his free newsletter here.
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