Oil and gas is often painted as the dirtiest sector within the energy industry, but major companies have begun to invest in renewable technologies in a bid to clean up the economy.
Of the six “super-majors” – BP, Shell, Chevron, Total, Eni and ExxonMobil – many of them have pumped billions into clean energy projects, although question marks remain over whether they are doing enough.
Despite the growth in renewables, “big oil” only spent 1% of its combined budget on green energy schemes in 2018.
Matthias J Pickl, economics professor at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia, wrote a report in November 2019 discussing whether oil companies are transforming themselves into energy firms.
Titled The renewable energy strategies of oil majors – From oil to energy?, it highlighted how wind and solar are taking an increasingly important role in the energy industry, and that oil majors are “progressively positioning themselves for the proclaimed energy transition”.
“Oil firms are essentially attempting to figure out how the best presently available cash cow in the world can be replaced for the benefit of their own sustainable future,” he wrote in the report.
“Furthermore, growing concerns about climate change following the Paris Agreement may
provide an additional drive for such strategy to hedge against hardening investor sentiment towards carbon emissions.”
Here, NS Energy looks into how each of the six oil majors have invested in renewable energy projects.