Exxon’s emissions from petroleum product sales in 2019 were about the same as Canada as a whole, according to its data.
Exxon Mobil Corp. disclosed emissions data on customer use of its fuels and other products for the first time after coming under pressure from investors.
The oil giant’s so-called Scope 3 emissions from sales of petroleum products were equivalent to 730 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2019, according to the company’s energy and carbon summary released on Tuesday. It’s about the same as across the country of Canada, and it’s the highest of any major western oil company.
Most Western supermajors are already releasing the information, and Exxon is doing so because “stakeholders have shown increasing interest,” the company said in the report. However, the data “does not provide a meaningful insight into the company’s performance in reducing emissions and could be misleading in some ways.”
Exxon prefers to focus on Scope 1 and 2 emissions, which are under its direct control, rather than on the use of its products, which depends on customer demand. However, competitors such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc are targeting emission reductions that cover Scope 3 numbers.
Exxon has come under pressure from activist investors in recent weeks due to its low shareholder returns and environmental record. Last month, Bloomberg News reported that large investors such as AllianceBernstein, Wellington Management and California State Teachers’ Retirement System called on Exxon and the industry to increase transparency and release more forward-looking emissions data, such as that he regularly uses internally.
The company said in December it would set new, more ambitious targets to reduce emissions per barrel of crude. But it has made no commitment to reduce its absolute level of pollution.
In October, Bloomberg News reported that internal documents showed that the company’s 2018 plan to boost oil and gas production is expected to result in an increase in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to Greece’s total production. But the plan was derailed by Covid-19, forcing Exxon to cut capital spending and curtail its growth ambitions. Exxon said the story was misleading because the documents did not include additional emissions mitigation efforts that would have been implemented over time.
The company’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions fell 3.2% in 2019 to 120 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, the lowest since at least 2010, according to Tuesday’s report.
Despite energy transition scenarios that show fossil fuel use decreasing over time, Exxon’s oil and gas reserves “face little risk from declining demand,” the company said. company in the report. Indeed, the “substantial majority” of its proven resources will be produced over the next 20 years, when supported by “strong demand,” he said.