Latin American State Oil Companies and Climate Change

Oil rig at sunset Pxhere / CC0

Lisa Viscidi, director of the Energy, Climate Change and Extractive Industries Program, spoke with Natural Gas World to discuss her recent report, Latin American State Oil Companies: Decarbonization Strategies and Role in the Energy Transition, political influence on climate policies, and prospects for natural gas development in the region. 

Comments by Lisa Viscidi: 

"In looking at the role of national oil companies (NOCs) in the energy transition, we found there were numerous successful Scope 1 emissions reduction strategies. For example, Petrobras, the NOC of Brazil, is doing a lot in CO2 injection. Pemex has made great strides in reducing flaring and has improved efficiency levels at refineries. Ecopetrol has reduced methane leaks. Petroamazonas, the state-owned company of Ecuador, has avoided flaring millions of cubic feet of gas and has been using natural gas to replace diesel at its operations."

"In some cases, governments tried to block the progress companies looking to reduce their Scope 3 emissions were making. The main argument that we see against transitioning these companies to be clean energy companies is an economic one, especially in this moment."

"When we looked at the numbers, with the exception of YPF, all of the other companies produce much more oil than natural gas. This is a much higher share than what we see with the international majors." 

"A major reason the national oil companies haven't yet developed their natural gas reserves is that producing oil is more profitable. I think that could change if there are more developed markets in the country for natural gas."


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