Oil firms to increase wind and solar investments

Source: By E&E • Posted: Friday, June 16, 2017

The oil industry will step up investments in renewable energy as firms fall behind on discovering new crude reserves, according to separate reports published Monday.

Since oil prices began falling in 2014, proved liquid reserves have dropped 15 percent to around 100 billion barrels.

Last year, the 68 publicly traded oil companies that produce a quarter of the world’s crude oil depleted 8.2 billion barrels in proved reserves.

Energy companies still expect strong natural gas demand to support the fossil fuel business for the coming decades, but they’ve acknowledged demand will slow as the world’s energy mix begins skewing toward renewables.

Major oil companies are likely to shift about $1 into solar panels and wind turbines for every $5 they spend on drilling, the energy research firm Wood Mackenzie said. That investment would follow an estimated annual growth rate of 6 percent for wind power and 11 percent for solar over the next two decades.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC, BP PLC and France’s Total SA have already invested in renewable energy projects from West Texas to the North Sea (Collin Eaton, Houston Chronicle, June 12). — AAA