Toward a net-zero future: Decarbonizing upstream operations

WORLD OIL | Hydrocarbons have powered economic growth for 150 years, but their emissions are destabilizing the earth’s climate. Now that the atmospheric impact of fossil fuels is widely recognized, the sector is under increasing pressure. Policymakers, investors and society are pressing for change, threatening operators’ licenses to operate. Operators have responded with strategic convening and conspicuous investments in innovation and diversification. Yet they have barely begun to address the 4.1 Gt CO2e of emissions—almost 10% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas—created every year by their own operations, two-thirds of it from upstream operations.

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