Oil and gas industry to reduce its carbon emissions by 32% by 2050, says DNV GL

dnv decarbonisationThe oil and gas industry is set to reduce its carbon emissions by a third (32%) by 2050, but world emissions will remain stubbornly high until the mid-2030s, according to DNV GL’s forecast

Deep decarbonisation of the world’s energy system is still 15 years away, stated DNV GL.

Carbon dioxide emissions from energy use will fall just 15% to 2035, before then dropping 40% to 2050. The oil and gas industry will account for more than 80% of world energy-related carbon emissions in 2050.

DNV GL’s Energy Transition Outlook 2020 provides an independent forecast of developments in the world energy mix to 2050. In a dedicated oil and gas report, DNV GL presents the demand, supply, and investment forecast for hydrocarbons and decarbonised and green gases to 2050, and focuses on the outlook for decarbonising the oil and gas industry.  

“Pressure is increasing on the oil and gas industry to decarbonise, and this is coming from all sides: from society and governments, from investors, and also from people within the industry itself. We see the sector increasingly putting the energy transition at the centre of its agenda, but climate change and ambitions to reduce it are outpacing action. The industry needs to prepare for an energy system that does not accept the release of carbon emissions,” said Liv A. Hovem, CEO, DNV GL – Oil and Gas.  

Hydrogen and carbon capture deep decarbonisation components

Hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS) have the potential to decarbonise fossil fuels more deeply. These technologies could transform the oil and gas industry’s ability to remove significant amounts of carbon emissions.  

According to DNV GL, 

• Fossil fuels will account for 54% of primary energy supply in 2050, compared to around 80% today

• Much of this supply will come from natural gas, as it becomes the world’s largest energy source from the mid-2020s

• Just 13% of natural gas will be decarbonised in 2050, with 12% of world energy emissions captured by CCS – most from natural gas

• The transformation to decarbonising gas will not scale for another 15 years, and only really gets going in the 2040s.  

“The transition to renewables and efforts to cut carbon intensity will significantly reduce emissions, but they will not deeply decarbonise natural gas, which the world’s energy system will depend upon for years to come. It is only by removing the carbon from natural gas – before or after combustion – that the oil and gas industry can deeply decarbonise, reaching hard-to-abate sectors throughout the value chain,” said Hovem.

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