Paul Zakkour

Carbon Counts GmbH, Founding Director

 

Contact

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                    [post_content] => Carbon capture and storage (CCS) involves the trapping of man-made CO2 underground in order to avoid its release into the atmosphere. Because of the scale with which it could be applied, CCS is identified as a critical technology to reduce CO2 emission to achieve global climate goals. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2018) shows that most of the 1.5oC pathways assume significant CCS. Also, in a recent paper, we argued that CCS could play a central role in oil and gas exporters’ low-emissions development strategies. The deployment of CCS could provide them with an opportunity to continue to monetise their reserves while meeting climate goals and retain the competitiveness of their oil and gas sectors and energy intensive industries in a net-zero emissions world. CCS is climate mitigation action which caters to the assets (in terms of geological storage capacities and existing infrastructure) and the technical skills (i.e., expertise in subsurface technology) of oil and gas producers.

While investing in CCS reduces margins and increases the complexity of the current business strategies of oil and gas exporters, it also increases the resilience and competitiveness of a strategic sector at times when the world is transitioning to net-zero emissions. Since the benefit of reduced emission accrues to all the stakeholders along the oil and gas supply chain, it is reasonable that the cost for large-scale CCS deployment should be shared. The common global goal of avoiding the dangerous impacts of climate change means that the cost of CCS should be shared between producers and end users, rather than be focused on one or the other resulting in, probably, sub-optimal deployment of the technology. Given the international dimension of the oil and gas business, it is therefore imperative that policies and mechanisms are put in place to generate revenue for CCS deployment that would offset part of the associated costs. A key role here falls to the Paris Agreement which offers many opportunities for collaboration either through bilateral or multilateral initiatives including the creation of clubs with common interests. The challenge is to create effective incentive schemes to turn these opportunities into actions.

Podcast - Carbon Capture and Storage: The perspective of oil and gas producing countries
                    [post_title] => Carbon Capture and Storage: The perspective of oil and gas  producing countries
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                    [post_content] => In addition to diversifying into new sectors, oil and gas exporters could pursue policies to increase the resilience of their core energy sector in a world transitioning to net-zero emissions by competing on reducing emissions. This Energy Insight argues that technologies related to geological storage of CO2 could play a key role in these countries’ near- and longer-term, low-emissions development strategies. Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS) is a climate mitigation action through which some oil and gas exporters could establish a competitive advantage given their natural (e.g. geological storage capacities, depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs, existing infrastructure) and technical resources (e.g. the expertise in subsurface technology). Also, the deployment of CCUS could provide oil and gas exporters with an opportunity to continue to monetise their reserves more sustainably and retain the competitiveness of their energy intensive industries in a net-zero emissions world. Although some believe that the combination of clean electrification and green hydrogen can deliver net-zero emissions by 2050, the uncertainty surrounding the speed of the transition coupled to the variations in transition strategies likely to be adopted by different countries means many scenarios still project that oil and gas will remain an important part of the energy mix in many countries for the foreseeable future. Also, from the perspective of achieving net-zero emissions, CCUS is a key mitigation technology needed to achieve governments’ ambitious net-zero targets. For some energy intensive hard-to abate sectors such as steel and cement, technical options to reduce emissions without CCUS are currently limited.

Large oil and gas reserve holders, either individually or as a group, may have the interest to implement projects to prove CCUS technology at scale, reduce its costs, and develop sustainable business models. This requires exporters to take a more active role in developing and scaling up CCUS through investments in the sector. However, it should also be recognised that producers’ economies would have to undergo some of the deepest transformations and adjustments and shifting the costs to producers alone is not viable.  Also, if costs are too high or domestic competition from other sectors for the use of hydrocarbon revenues intensifies during the transition, then scaling CCUS to levels that are needed for it to be an effective mitigation strategy will not materialise in these countries. Multilateral agreements such as the Paris Agreement and global policies to incentivise emissions reductions should take these trends into account. Policies should aim to distribute its costs across the supply chain, but also between importers and exporters so the burden is shared more equitably. This requires developing frameworks and mechanisms that complement existing instruments with policies that assign value to CO2 storage. This poses various challenges, but the benefits could be substantial. From the perspective of achieving net-zero emissions, this could enable a key mitigation strategy to help countries achieve their ambitious targets. From a producers’ perspective, it allows producers to play a more active role in climate change negotiations and encourages them to be part of the solution through utilising their own expertise and financial and geological resources. It could also help these countries diversify into new sectors which could ease the burden of the transition. This reinforces certain key principles such as the emphasis on national circumstances, common but differentiated responsibility and just and inclusive energy transition.
                    [post_title] => Transitioning to Net-Zero: CCUS and the Role of Oil and Gas Producing Countries
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            [post_content] => Carbon capture and storage (CCS) involves the trapping of man-made CO2 underground in order to avoid its release into the atmosphere. Because of the scale with which it could be applied, CCS is identified as a critical technology to reduce CO2 emission to achieve global climate goals. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2018) shows that most of the 1.5oC pathways assume significant CCS. Also, in a recent paper, we argued that CCS could play a central role in oil and gas exporters’ low-emissions development strategies. The deployment of CCS could provide them with an opportunity to continue to monetise their reserves while meeting climate goals and retain the competitiveness of their oil and gas sectors and energy intensive industries in a net-zero emissions world. CCS is climate mitigation action which caters to the assets (in terms of geological storage capacities and existing infrastructure) and the technical skills (i.e., expertise in subsurface technology) of oil and gas producers.

While investing in CCS reduces margins and increases the complexity of the current business strategies of oil and gas exporters, it also increases the resilience and competitiveness of a strategic sector at times when the world is transitioning to net-zero emissions. Since the benefit of reduced emission accrues to all the stakeholders along the oil and gas supply chain, it is reasonable that the cost for large-scale CCS deployment should be shared. The common global goal of avoiding the dangerous impacts of climate change means that the cost of CCS should be shared between producers and end users, rather than be focused on one or the other resulting in, probably, sub-optimal deployment of the technology. Given the international dimension of the oil and gas business, it is therefore imperative that policies and mechanisms are put in place to generate revenue for CCS deployment that would offset part of the associated costs. A key role here falls to the Paris Agreement which offers many opportunities for collaboration either through bilateral or multilateral initiatives including the creation of clubs with common interests. The challenge is to create effective incentive schemes to turn these opportunities into actions.

Podcast - Carbon Capture and Storage: The perspective of oil and gas producing countries
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Latest Publications by Paul Zakkour