By Muhammad Amaan
A latest report by the Global Oil and Gas Exit List (GOGEL) has shown that 96 per cent of the 700 upstream companies listed across the world are still exploring new oil and gas fields.
In the report, published by Urgewald, a German environment and human rights NGO, the annual capital expenditures on oil and gas exploration have risen by more than 30 per cent since 2021.
According to reports, oil exploration continues, notwithstanding, the global call to put end to burning of fossil fuels, which climate experts blamed for the worsening global warming.
“Over the past 3 years, oil and gas companies in the GOGEL database spent a total of US$ 170.4 billion on exploration for new oil and gas reserves that we cannot afford to burn,” the report revealed.
In addition to exploration, the GOGEL study also showed extensive and reckless upstream expansion with 539 companies preparing to bring 230 billion Barrels of Oil Equivalent (bboe) of untapped oil and gas resources into production.
These short-term expansion plans, the document noted, severely jeopardise efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 °C.
“Oil and gas expansion in ‘frontier’ countries will create new fossil fuel dependencies, severely compromising, if not displacing Just Energy Transitions which could see cheap and rapid builds of renewable energy for countries that are not yet locked into expensive and polluting oil and gas dependencies.
“Companies on GOGEL are exploring or developing new oil and gas resources in 129 countries.
“Total Energies tops the list with expansion in 53 countries, including South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Papua New Guinea.
“These countries currently have little or no oil and gas production, which should therefore make transition easier,” said the report.
With this development, the study projected that global gas-fired capacity was expected to rise by a staggering 30 per cent; while the global oil and gas industry was planning to increase Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) export capacity by 162 per cent.
Reacting, Katrin Ganswindt, Head of Finance Research at Urgewald, said: “Financiers and investors need to face the fact that this industry will not transform voluntarily.
“Private and public financial institutions, insurers, regulators and central banks must adopt policies that end the financing of fossil fuel expansion.
“GOGEL provides the data needed to develop and implement these policies. Without swift action, the chance for a 1.5 °C world will be irredeemably lost.”