Oil and Money conference renames itself the Energy Intelligence Forum after New York Times drops sponsorship, while the UK's Oil and Gas Technology Centre announces Net Zero Solution Centre
The oil and gas industry around the world is rapidly pivoting its focus - and communiciations strategies - as concern over climate change continues to mount.
Today the Oil & Money conference, a major gathering for the oil industry now in its fortieth year, announced a name change that will from next year see it branded the Energy Intelligence Forum.
The decision follows major protests by climate campaigners at the last summit in February in London, and a decision by the New York Times last week to drop its sponsorship of the event after protests by Extinction Rebellion outside its offices.
A New York Times spokeswoman told the Guardian the paper had "decided to end its relationship with the Oil and Money conference" because its subject matter "gives us cause for concern".
Mark Lewis, head of research at Carbon Tracker, the think tank which pioneered the so-called "carbon bubble" hypothesis, said on Twitter the name change was a "fascinating development".
Meanwhile, the UK's Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) today announced a plan to create a £50m "Net Zero Solution Centre" in partnership with industry including BP, Total, Siemens, Equinor, and Shell.
The centre aims to "accelerate the development and deployment of technologies to decarbonise offshore operations" in a bid to turn the UK's continental shelf into the first "net zero oil and gas basin globally".
To do this, it will work with government and industry to cut the carbon footprint of UK oil and gas, as well as working on using oil and gas infrastructure to scale hydrogen production and carbon capture and storage (CCS) - both of which the government's climate watchdog, the Committee on Climate Change, says are essential for reaching net zero emissions.
A spokesperson for the OGTC confirmed the Centre will primarily focus on decarbonising the exploration and production of oil and gas, not the emissions associated with the burning of fossil fuels, which account for the large majority of the industry's climate impact.
But if a commercial carbon capture and storage industry could be built in the UK, oil and gas experts argue it could pave the way for the oil and gas sector to fully decarbonise while "maximising" economic recovery of fuels.
"Our focus will be on developing technologies to reduce operational carbon emissions, working with other parts of the energy sector to create integrated solutions and repurposing infrastructure to accelerate carbon capture usage and storage, hydrogen production and gas-to-wire capacity," said OGTC CEO Colette Cohen.
"With the backing of industry and government, and strong track of delivery, the OGTC is committed to moving the dial on carbon reduction and enabling the UK Continental Shelf to become the first net zero hydrocarbon basin in the world."
Kwasi Kwarteng, the UK's Energy and Clean Growth Minister, welcomed the announcement, adding the UK's oil and gas sector has a "pivotal role" to play in the UK's journey to net zero. "The UK government warmly welcomes this initiative to find innovative technological solutions to decarbonising the offshore production of gas and oil from the North Sea and wider UK Continental Shelf."
SOURCE: Green Business 3 September 2019