Fears of a climate calamity lurk in Big oil’s big deals

Source: Axios


Two mega oil mergers, combined with other recent industry moves, threaten to prolong high amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and endanger Paris climate targets, climate activists warn.

Why it matters: Chevron’s $53 billion purchase of Hess announced on Monday — along with ExxonMobil’s deal with Pioneer Natural Resources — signals that oil and gas firms foresee robust fossil fuel demand into the 2030s, despite government moves to slash greenhouse gas emissions and boost renewable energy.

Zoom in: Climate activists have criticized both deals as doubling down on harmful energy sources.

  • If regulators bless the deal, the Hess merger will boost Chevron’s oil and gas production and give it a stake in important international plays.
  • Chevron said the merged firm “is expected to grow production and free cash flow faster and for longer than Chevron’s current five-year guidance.”
  • Exxon’s purchase would also boost its oil and gas production.

Threat level: Boosting oil and gas production, while viewed as a national security imperative, is inconsistent with steps climate scientists argue are necessary to meet the Paris Agreement’s temperature targets.

Read more: Fears of a climate calamity lurk in Big oil’s big deals