FUTURE OF OIL & GAS

Designing a future interdisciplinary and shared research agenda to understand the role of oil and gas in the energy transition

Designing a future interdisciplinary and shared research agenda to understand the role of oil and gas in the energy transition

As the world confronts an energy transition, the global energy system is being re-imagined and the role of oil and natural gas in that transition is not entirely clear. Governments are pursuing increasingly ambitious initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and diversify their energy systems. At the same time, the world is facing significant energy demand growth from emerging and developing economies. The dual pressures of reducing their carbon footprint, while also providing the necessary resources to fuel energy growth creates another layer of complexity for the oil and gas industry.

Mines and the world

The Payne Institute extends to public policy Mines’ conviction that energy and the environment must– and can – fruitfully coexist. We are in an enviable position to tap into a deep well of on-campus and alumni leaders in industry and environmental groups around the world. We foster collaboration with a focus on problem-solving rather than furthering entrenched agendas.

COLORADO

Colorado has been at the forefront of establishing regulations for the oil and gas industry and working in a coherent inclusive manner between the industry and other stakeholders. That form of broad engagement based on science should continue. It will serve to both evolve the discussion in the state and at the local level, but also serve as a lodestar for the national and global discussion.

NEWS

CAUCASUS ENERGY INFRASTURCTURE UNDER THREAT, AS AZERBAIJAN-ARMENIAN CRISIS CONTINUES? 8/5/2020

CAUCASUS ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE UNDER THREAT, AS AZERBAIJAN-ARMENIAN CRISIS CONTINUES?

Payne Institute Fellow Cyril Widdershoven writes about the decades old Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is heating up again, as both sides are putting their armed forces on alert. The unexpected escalation, which could be even going into a next phase, due to increased Turkish-Azerbaijani cooperation the last days, is not only putting the Caucasus region on full alert, but also could be threatening major regional and international oil and gas transport infrastructure at risk.  August 5, 2020.

On oilsands, Alberta is still trying to fix yesterday’s problems 8/5/2020

ON OILSANDS, ALBERTA IS STILL TRYING TO FIX YESTERDAY’S PROBLEMS

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon opinion piece regarding the decision by French energy giant Total highlights need to focus on today’s real challenges, and their reasons for the recently announced writedown of Canadian oilsands assets and the decision to halt all future investments in new capacity.  While the decision was framed within Total’s broader carbon neutrality goal, the fundamental challenge cited was not the carbon footprint of production from the oilsands, but rather that in a world that is responding to the threat of climate change, oil production will decline, leaving the expansion of higher cost, larger, and longer lifetime Alberta resources uncompetitive. August 5, 2020. 

OGCI launches $1M partnership with Payne Institute to develop new web platform to map gas flaring 7/23/2020

OGCI LAUNCHES $1M PARTNERSHIP WITH PAYNE INSTITUTE TO DEVELOP NEW PLATFORM TO MAP GAS FLARING

The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) has today announced a technical and financial sponsorship commitment of nearly $1M USD to the Payne Institute for Public Policy (PIPP) at Colorado School of Mines, to develop a transparent web platform to support real-time mapping and tracking of global gas flaring data.  The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group will provide the platform for the research via their VIIRS satellite. Launched in 2012, the VIIRS satellite uses advanced sensors to detect the light emitted by gas flares as infrared emissions at global facilities that find and produce oil and natural gas. The programme has been developed under the umbrella of the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR), a World Bank-led organization.  The Global Gas Flaring Explorer platform will deliver improved monitoring, visibility and transparency in flaring volume data, and will be publicly available in early 2022.  July 23, 2020.

Global Gas Flaring Jumps to Levels Last Seen in 2009

GLOBAL GAS FLARING JUMPS TO LEVELS LAST SEEN IN 2009

The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group’s research on gas flaring is providing the data for the annual World Bank Global Gas Flaring Report.  Estimates from satellite data show global gas flaring increased, by 3%, to levels not seen in more than a decade, to 150 billion cubic meters (bcm), equivalent to the total annual gas consumption of Sub-Saharan Africa.  July 21, 2020.

Three Ways Policymakers in Emerging Economies can Encourage Low-Carbon Road Transport Decisions – that Aren’t Subsidies 7/20/2020

THREE WAYS POLICYMAKERS IN EMERGING ECONOMIES CAN ENCOURAGE LOW-CARBON ROAD TRANSPORT DECISIONS – THAT AREN’T SUBSIDIES

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Greer Gosnell argues that policymakers must pay more attention to car buyers’ considerations of social status if they wish to address climate change. Given targets for halting global temperature rise to 1.5oC, the forces underlying the decisions of current and prospective car buyers in these nascent markets will be incredibly consequential. COVID-19 may present a rare opportunity for policymakers in emerging economies—where citizens now more clearly value the benefits of a future characterized by clean air and blue skies—to set themselves on a different path from that of the U.S. and other industrialized economies.  July 20, 2020.

Mines researchers awarded $7.7M from ARPA-E to test full-scale hybrid stationary power system 7/13/2020

MINES RESEARCHER AWARDED $7.7m FROM ARPA-E TO TEST FULL-SCALE HYBRID STATIONARY POWER SYSTEM

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Robert Braun has been awarded $7.7 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop and test a full-scale hybrid stationary power system that could provide highly efficient electricity to hospitals, supermarkets, large retailers and more.  The fuel cell researchers are targeting the highest electric efficiency ever for something that’s powered by a fossil fuel – the world’s first 70 percent efficient natural-gas fueled power generation system.  July 13, 2020.  

ALBERTA ANNOUNCES NEW 10-YEAR PROGRAM TO ATTRACT PETROCHEMICAL PROJECTS 7/9/2020

ALBERTA ANNOUNCES NEW 10-YEAR PROGRAM TO ATTRACT PETROCHEMICAL PROJECTS

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon contributes to this article about how Alberta is offering a funding program to every project that meets its criteria.  The Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program, launching this fall, will invest in major petrochemical manufacturing projects in the province. Government funding will be provided to every project that applies and meets the criteria once they’re operational, said Dale Nally, Alberta’s Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity. July 9, 2020.

Artificial Lights Tell the Story of the Pandemic 7/8/2020

ARTIFICIAL LIGHTS TELL THE STORY OF THE PANDEMIC

The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group research on nighttime lights (VIIRS) provides confirmation for this article on satellite views of Earth that reveal the distinct imprint of humankind’s response to a fast-spreading virus.  As entire populations and industries curtailed their usual movements, pixels of light on satellite images rearranged themselves accordingly—a new bright cluster here, a fresh spot of darkness there.  July 8, 2020. 

We could be witnessing a turning point in the oilsands industry 6/30/2020

WE COULD BE WITNESSING A TURNING POINT IN THE OILSANDS INDUSTRY

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon writes an opinion piece that rather than focus on a reduction of emissions, Suncor is looking at diversification.  Recently, the CEO of Suncor, Mark Little, along with Alberta Innovates CEO Laura Killcrease wrote a call to action for oil companies in Canada. The piece was notable compared with previous statements for two reasons: both its acknowledgement of the potential for significant disruption to the energy system in a timeline that is “not-too distant,” as well as putting forward a proposal for the future that is fundamentally different from the goal to produce oil with a net zero upstream footprint.  June 30, 2020.

For more information about the Future of Oil & Gas Initiative at the Payne Institute for Public Policy, please contact our Strategy and Operations Manager, Gregory Clough, at gclough@mines.edu.