Oil companies to invest in low emissions technology

Oil companies to invest in low emissions technology

Some of the world's biggest oil companies have announced plans to invest hundreds of millions of pounds to develop low emissions technologies.

The firms - including Shell, BP and Total - said one billion dollars (around £800 million) will be spent over the next decade to tackle issues including cutting the energy intensity of transport and industry.

The announcement, made on the day the historic Paris climate change agreement came into force, was criticised by campaign groups.

Greenpeace said the big oil companies continued to have a "dogged determination" to protect a "climate destructive business model".

The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) said the  aim was to deploy successfully-developed new technologies among member companies and beyond.

A joint statement said: "The creation of OGCI Climate Investments shows our collective determination to deliver technology on a large-scale that will create a step change to help tackle the climate challenge.

"We are personally committed to ensuring that by working with others our companies play a key role in reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases, while still providing the energy the world needs."

The companies said the investment represented an "unprecedented" level of oil and gas industry collaboration and resource-sharing.

"This new, additional investment will complement the companies' existing low emissions technology programmes and will draw on the collective expertise and resources of the member companies," said a statement.

OGCI said it had identified two initial focus areas - accelerating the deployment of carbon capture, use and storage, and reducing methane emissions from the global oil and gas industry.

A Greenpeace spokesman said: " Meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement will inevitably result in a wholesale transformation of the way we use energy, and the companies that provide it.

"Their claims of climate leadership remain at best a cynical PR exercise, not a meaningful response to the challenge of a dramatically destabilised climate and its inevitable impacts on vulnerable communities around the world."

OGCI member companies are BP, CNPC, Eni, Pemex, Reliance Industries, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Statoil and Total - representing a fifth of the world's oil and gas production.