While oil and gas will certainly be needed for decades to come, the oil and gas division may not be Chevron’s top business in 20 years, although it will still be a very big part of the U.S. supermajor’s operations, chief executive Michael Wirth told CNN Business in an interview published on Monday.
Big Oil, especially the European majors, have rushed to announce increased investments in renewable energy, and some even plan to reduce their overall oil and gas production. BP, for example, said last year that it would boost its investment in low-carbon energy ten times to US$5 billion a year and reduce oil and gas production by 40 percent by 2030.
The biggest oil corporations in the Americas, including U.S. supermajors Exxon and Chevron, have not promised to become net-zero emission businesses by 2050, unlike all major oil firms in Europe—BP, Shell, Eni, Equinor, Total, and Repsol, which have raced to announce green strategies over the past year.
In the Americas, Occidental Petroleum became the first major U.S. oil firm to announce a net-zero emissions goal at the end of last year.
For Chevron, “Oil and gas will still be a very big part. Will it be the biggest part? Time will tell,” Wirth told CNN Business in the interview.
Chevron will not be investing in solar and wind power, Wirth told CNN. This is in contrast with European oil majors, who are building solar and wind power portfolios as they look to capture larger shares of the electricity market.
Chevron’s bet is on carbon utilization technologies, renewable natural gas, and reducing emissions from its operations.
“We increased actions to advance a lower carbon future, abating emissions in our operations, starting up our first renewable natural gas plant and investing in low-carbon technologies like our recent announcement with carbon utilization start-up, Blue Planet,” Wirth said on the Q4 earnings call last month.
Oil and gas will still be a large part of the energy system, and “somehow demand will need to be met. And we think it should be met by those that can do it in a way that has the lowest carbon impact,” the executive said on the call.