Big Oil braces for fresh pressure over climate strategy, diversity

Life doesn’t seem to be getting any easier for hydrocarbon producers despite their return to bumper earnings from firmer prices. As energy executives prepare to face activist investors at annual general meetings next month, pressure for faster change seems to be coming from all angles. Already under siege to de-carbonise their long-term business models, Big Oil is still struggling to attract talent and overhaul its male-dominated management structures. With the AGM season fast approaching, climate-change related proposals from US investor groups alone are expected to hit a new record of over 90 this year, up from up from 36 in 2013, according to ISS Analytics. At the International Petroleum (IP) Week last month, an annual London gathering of traders and industry executives, corporate hand-wringing over the industry’s present and looming business woes was palpable. The key message from the headline speaker – the head state energy giant Saudi Aramco Amin Nasser – was clear; there is a “crisis of perception” that the global oil and gas industry has little future, risking a major energy supply crunch in the years ahead. “Facts and logic” over the need for hydrocarbons are being ignored and the importance of oil is “misunderstood” by both the… continue reading

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