How Can Oil & Gas Majors Be Net-Zero In 2050 And How Is The EU Driving This Energy Transition

<p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Net-zero GHG emissions does not refer to absence of CO2, CH4, NOx emission but rather to their neutrality over the life cycle of a product in respect to the total amount of GHG currently present in the atmosphere: there is no reduction of the total amount of GHG through the goal of net-zero (which would require capture of the existing stock of carbon and other GHGs) but at least no increase.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">O&amp;G companies can achieve this is by offsetting, compensating, reducing or absorbing their emission through a number of means: they can buy carbon credits, or invest in carbon-sink projects, capture the CO2 they produce, reduce CH4 emissions or use less gas to run their plants and substitute it with power generated by RES.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In particular, decarbonization in Refineries has been widely studied and promoted in the EU: based on such results up to 50-60% of GHG can be reduced by applying operational improvements, energy transition to LNG, plus other technology such as CCS, Hydrogen, and NETs.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Refineries are big GHG emitters so installing CCS technology together with higher fuel consumption and emission efficiency, electrification of their processes as much as possible and use of green hydrogen are some of the solutions used.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">With regards to the Energy Green Deal in the EU, the basic principles of the EU policies are:</p><ol style="text-align: justify;"><li>consumer choices should be maximized;</li><li>efficiency as a priority;</li></ol><ul style="text-align: justify;"><li>technology neutrality so no specific carbon reducing/decarbonization technology/process will be preferred above another.</li></ul><p style="text-align: justify;">It will be up to the market to drive choices. The technologies that are most cost-efficient will prevail. Among those by 2050 I see a strong increase in Renewable Energy Generation coupled by low-carbon base energy generated through decarbonized gas. Solar, Wind Hydro, biomass, hydrogen will all have a role, together with waste management and waste to energy technologies. Storage through hydrogen rather than batteries will also be strongly developed. and carbon capture to reduce existing CO2 in the atmosphere. Carbon Tax will then ensure that any product entering the EU will be carbon neutral, so non-EU companies wanting to sell into EU will need to decarbonize.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">With regards to utilizing Hydrogen as a source of energy storage</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Initial research points out how Europe, by the means of its hydrogen strategy issued in Q42020, is focused on enabling utilizing Hydrogen as a source of energy storage and energy fuel in hard to abate industries as well as an alternative to traditional battery and is aiming at producing 40GW of hydrogen installed capacity by 2050.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Hydrogen is a molecule and therefore requires less investments in infrastructure than decentralized electricity through the reuse and adaptation of existing gas infrastructure which can be repurposed for hydrogen production, transport, use and storage. It implies a less costly transition and allows existing O&amp;G companies, TSOs and DSOs for which billions of euro were invested through the CEF and PCI to continue existing.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Decarbonizing the hydrogen value-chain is the challenge of the next few years whereby hydrogen produced by hydrolysis rather than from methane will be the key to a decarbonized Europe. another way would be to capture carbon emitted in the blue or turquoise hydrogen production.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Alessandro Nanotti

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