IEA warns oil companies not to bet on carbon capture

Isbel Lázaro.
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captura de carbono en la industria del petroleo

Inspenet, November 28, 2023.

Capturing carbon for later storage has become a key component of decarbonization goals in the Canadian oil and gas sector. However, a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) warns against betting on this technology as the planet continues to experience global warming.

In the report published last Thursday, the IEA notes that oil and gas companies must begin to abandon the “illusion” that “incredibly large” amounts of carbon capture are the solution to the global climate crisis.

Carbon capture in the oil industry

In Canada, carbon capture and storage has taken on a critical role in the oil and gas sector’s decarbonization efforts. In the oil sands region, several companies have come together to propose a $16.5 billion carbon capture and storage project in northern Alberta. According to them, this project will allow them to achieve net zero emissions in production by 2050.

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For its part, the federal government is also seeking to encourage investment in this expensive technology by offering a tax credit to companies that implement carbon capture projects.

Although the IEA report recognizes the importance of carbon capture in the fight against climate change, especially to offset emissions in sectors that lack viable alternative solutions, it warns against generating “excessive expectations” and over-reliance on it. technology.

According to the report, limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the goal set by the international community in the Paris Agreement, would require capturing an “inconceivable” 32 billion tons of emissions through carbon capture technology by 2050.

“The amount of electricity needed to power these technologies would be greater than global electricity demand today,” the report says, adding that the amount of carbon capture would also require an increase in global spending on the technology of $4 billion. of dollars last year to 3.5 trillion by 2050.

Likewise, the report suggests oil and gas companies consider diversifying into clean energy sources rather than relying exclusively on carbon capture to maintain their current position.

However, according to some environmental advocates, the oil and gas industry is using technology as a justification for increasing fossil fuel production when it would be more beneficial to leave those resources in the ground.

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