A day of reckoning
There is increasing pressure on large oil companies to pledge to eliminate emissions. Some oil majors are making strategic moves to respond; however, deal-making remains difficult in the current economic climate. Inside this issue of F+L Magazine, we analyse how big oil companies are navigating the tension between traditional and emerging business lines as they look to rebound from a brutal 2020.
Concrete action is required in the race to zero emissions. While some sectors, such as passenger cars, are making solid progress, trailing the field are hard-to-abate transport sectors such as aviation, trucking, heavy-duty, and marine. We discuss potential solutions for these sectors on page 6. Complicating any progress is the reality that some current emissions reduction initiatives are not aligned with the end goal of zero emissions and may delay the result. We review this critical issue and how a “phenomenal” drop in the cost of renewables offers a glimmer of hope on page 10.
Shipping is one of the hardest sectors to decarbonise. The environment and price changes are shifting attention to alternative shipping fuels as a replacement for conventional petroleum-based products. On page 35. we question whether we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the marine diesel engine. Diesel-powered equipment is also under pressure in the mining industry as companies begin to explore the opportunities afforded by electrification. On page 31, we review the concept of the electric mine.
Despite the severe impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, many major fossil fuel producers are embracing the energy transition, and the world’s leaders are increasingly putting the environment on top of their agenda. The International Energy Agency (IEA) believes gas markets in Asia will lead global recovery efforts. We review the role natural gas will play in the global energy transition on page 14.
No doubt, fossil fuels will be around for a long time to come. American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers [AFPM) senior vice president of federal & regulatory affairs, Derrick Morgan, believes that the ICE has a bright future if it is allowed to compete. We investigate a “fairly simple” ICE change that could double the environmental benefit that electric vehicles contribute, on page 26.
Australia’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Communications released two draft Regulation Impact Statements on the possible introduction of Euro 6 and Euro VI in October 2020. We review the potential tightening of Australia’s emissions standards on page 17.