Despite the climate emergency, fossil fuels continue to evolve

According to a report by the non-governmental organization Global energy monitor, oil and gas producers continued to verify production projects in 2023.

2020 oil production site in China.  (TPG IMAGES / MAXPPP)

According to the Global Energy Monitor study, a total of 20 natural gas or oil projects worldwide have been definitively verified in 2023. This potential is equivalent to 8 billion barrels, the same as in 2022. The three largest projects now in the works are gas fields in the United Arab Emirates, Libya and Brazil.

The report also lists the countries verifying the most new mining. The United States leads the way, followed by Guyana and the United Arab Emirates. And it’s not done. The fossil fuel giants, both private and public, hope to launch more than 60 more mining projects by the end of the century.

The search for bearings also continues

Another part of the Global energy monitor publication focuses on the search for new deposits, which is also continuing. In 2023, 19 new deposits of oil or natural gas were actually identified, a number significantly lower compared to 2022. However, the NGO describes a mock inflection following the return of the disease after Covid.

Notable discoveries include a huge gas field in Iran. This is the most important find in the last two years, even bigger than the reservoir called Venus, which was discovered by TotalEnergies in Namibia. This African country should become one of the main producers of fossil fuels in the coming years, like Guyana or Cyprus, until now it is almost absent from the black gold and gas markets.

Give up any new project

However, these new projects and new discoveries are at odds with the goals of carbon neutrality in 2050 and the Paris Agreement, which plans to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. From 2021, the International Energy Agency has called for a halt to all new oil or gas projects. Way “narrow” said the IEA, which does not appear to be used by the fossil fuel giants at the moment.

COP28 in Dubai in December 2023 could reverse the trend. Necessity is mentioned for the first time in the final agreement “transition from fossil fuels”. Text ratified by the largest oil-producing countries, but not binding.

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