Nature magazine’s new study says Saudi Arabian oilfields are amongst the lowest carbon emitters on the planet, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Venezuelan fields took the opposite aplomb, with its facilities’ carbon intensity measured at six times that of Saudi Arabia. This was likely due to PDVSA’s power intensive and widespread “steam flooding” technique used to increase oil flows.
Stanford University conducted the study with funding from Saudi Aramco, the KSA’s fossil fuel giant. It focused on the producers that supplied significant amounts of fuel to the Chinese market, which excluded the United States from the study.
Though American shipments have reached Asian ports in recent months, the United States did not begin exporting fuel until the end of 2015, which is after the study was commissioned and took full force.
“China has been the world’s largest growth market for energy for the past 15 years and accounted for about 43% of the world’s oil consumption growth over this period,” the report reads.
Greenhouse gas emissions as a result of fossil fuel production is likely to be scrutinized further in the coming years as the world aims to prevent an increase in global temperatures by 2 degrees centigrade. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest exporter and de facto leader, aims to cut domestic oil consumption to free more oil for exporting and to reduce its carbon emissions.
The KSA is leading other green initiatives as well, recently signing an agreement with Japanese energy firms and carmaker Nissan to launch the first pilot project for electric vehicles in the country. For one year, Saudi Electricity will operate the three Nissan EVs and the three Takaoka Toko quick chargers, while TEPCO will evaluate the data from the pilot project. The companies will also develop a business plan for the use of EVs and quick chargers in Saudi Arabia, TEPCO said.