Connect with us

Business

Big Oil hits brakes on search for new fossil fuels

Published

on

Big Oil hits brakes on search for new fossil fuels 1

By Ron Bousso

LONDON (Reuters) – Top oil and gas companies sharply slowed their search for new fossil fuel resources last year, data shows, as lower energy prices due to the coronavirus crisis triggered spending cuts.

Acquisitions of new onshore and offshore exploration licences for the top five Western energy giants dropped to the lowest in at least five years, data from Oslo-based consultancy Rystad Energy showed.

The number of exploration licensing rounds dropped last year due to the epidemic while companies including Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and France’s Total also reduced spending, Rystad Energy analyst Palzor Shenga said.

“Acquiring additional leases comes with a cost and it demands some work commitments to be fulfilled. Hence, companies would not want to pile up on additional acreages in their non-core areas of operations,” Shenga said.

(GRAPHIC: Slowing exploration – https://graphics.reuters.com/OIL-EXPLORATION/azgpolnldvd/index.html)

Of the five companies, BP saw by far the largest drop in new acreage acquisition in 2020. Bernard Looney, who became BP’s CEO in February, outlined a strategy to reduce oil output by 40% or 1 million barrels per day by 2030. BP has rapidly scaled back its exploration team in recent months.

Exxon, the largest U.S. energy company, acquired the largest acreage in 2020 in the group, with 63% in three blocks in Angola, according to Rystad Energy.

Total was second with two large blocks acquired in Angola and Oman.

Acquiring exploration acreage means companies can search for oil and gas. If new resources are discovered in sufficient volumes, the companies need to decide whether to develop them, a costly process that can take years.

As a result, the drop in exploration activity could lead to a supply gap in the second half of the decade, analysts said.

(Graphic: Oil majors’ spending – https://graphics.reuters.com/OILMAJORS-CAPEX/jznvnqwzdpl/index.html)

(Reporting by Ron Bousso; Editing by Alexander Smith)

Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2021
2021 Awards now open. Click Here to Nominate

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now