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Are Gulf oil giants ready to go green?

As European and American oil companies face increased pressure and scrutiny on new climate restrictions, the Gulf has so far been avoided the heat.
A general view of Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq oil processing plant on September 20, 2019. - Saudi Arabia said on September 17 its oil output will return to normal by the end of September, seeking to soothe rattled energy markets after attacks on two instillations that slashed its production by half. The strikes on Abqaiq - the world's largest oil processing facility - and the Khurais oil field in eastern Saudi Arabia roiled energy markets and revived fears of a conflict in the tinderbox Gulf region. (Photo by Fay

ExxonMobil appointed a climate-minded activist investor to its board of directors after investment firm Engine No. 1 called on the American oil and gas giant to overhaul its board with expertise on climate change to drive its industrial transformation. The current business model is exposed to “immense risk” in the global realignment toward cleaner energies, Engine No. 1 said. In Europe, British oil and gas firm BP aims to become an “integrated energy company” and pledged to reduce its oil and gas production by over 40% by 2030.

There has been no such comparable trend in the Gulf. Saudi Aramco, the region’s largest state-owned oil company, did not include emissions from many refineries and petrochemical plants in its self-reported carbon footprint, misleading investors’ climate risk assessments. Aramco is “one of the few large, listed oil companies” that does not disclose Scope 3 emissions — produced when customers use its fuels — which typically account for “more than 80%” of oil companies’ total emissions," Bloomberg reported. The emission rates make Aramco a world leader in carbon emissions.

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