Glen Peters Profile picture
Aug 28, 2018 13 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
What is the role of oil in a 2°C world?

THREAD on my presentation at #ONS2018 #CentreCourt (Monday), where I (try to) explain why there is potentially space for some new oil & what constrains the amount 1/…
It is important to remember, that every molecule of CO₂ that enters the atmosphere causes the temperature to increase. To stop temperature rising, either stop emitting CO₂ or, if you must, take out what you put in. 2/
Because it is unlikely we can get to zero emissions in 10-20 years (1.5°C) or 30-40 years (2°C), we have to remove CO₂ from the atmosphere. The more removed, the less radical the short-term reductions. Radical mitigation AND CO₂ removal is key. 3/
Carbon budgets are not that useful at the policy level (,, so we instead use emission scenarios to explore future uncertainties (top). For this presentation, it is useful to group scenarios to focus on stylised pathways (bottom) 4/
In optimal scenarios, oil demand peaks in about 2020's for a little under 2°C (blue), 2030 for a little over 2°C (green), 2040 for ~2.5°C (yellow), etc, after which there is a gradual decline to 2100. All is stubborn. 5/
If we empty all existing oil fields (black), then there is not enough to meet demand, even to stay below 2°C. There is a "supply gap", but it's exact size will depend on lots of supply, demand, & socioeconomic energy system assumptions. 6/
Why does oil demand remain rather stubborn? Rule of thumb: ~25% of oil is for private cars, ~25% freight, ~25% shipping / aviation, ~25% petrochemicals. Even if electric vehicles take over the world tomorrow, oil demand will still persist. 7/
To get an idea of how challanging it is to reduce emissions in frieght, aviation, shipping, and other hard-to-mitigate sectors, then have a read of this recent review. Long distance transport is about 5% of global emissions.… 8/
All this is based on "optimal" scenarios. To get from a reference to 2°C requires huge decreases in energy use & coal, plus rapid growth in CCS, bioenergy, & non-fossil energy. Miss any of these "building blocks", the less oil... 9/
More info...…
Worth noting that there are many different ways to get to 2°C, different models & socioeconomic assumptions will lead to different pathways. These risks leads to more or less oil. Risks abound, which is why we use scenarios in the first place... /10
Yes, there is potentially place for new oil in a 2°C world:
* There is much less coal, oil, gas in a 2°C world than in 3°C (BAU is over)
* New oil requires the death of coal, & emergence of renewables, CCS, EVs, CO₂ removal, ...
* Don't meet those criteria, then less oil /11
What can the oil industry do?
* Support & push broad decarbonisation, everyone needs to do their part
* Focus on high-value niche opportunities
* Utilise the skill set, which is far beyond petroleum engineering
* Read the great thread by @JigarShahDC /12
Important to remember nothing is black & white, the future of oil is a complex & nuanced discussion. Happy for comments on the presentation & discussion. 13/end…

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Glen Peters

Glen Peters Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @Peters_Glen

Sep 26, 2018
THREAD (to get you prepared for the #IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C #SR15)

What are the origins of 1.5°C?…
1987: President of the Maldives: "We know, & yet we keep delaying action. The time for just talking is over."
1988: James Hanson testified "99% confidence"
1988: The #IPCC is born
1990: IPCC First Assessment Report (FAR)
1990: Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)
1992: UNFCCC "to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system"
1997: Kyoto Protocol
2007: Bali Road Map gives new hope
2008: A limit well below 1.5°C (Tuvalu, AOSIS)
2008: 1.5°C to stay alive
2009: Copenhagen Accord enshrined 2°C in climate politics
Read 5 tweets
Aug 31, 2018
Impressive new study on the carbon intensity of crude oil production by field. Average life-cycle emissions are 10.3gCO₂-eq/MJ or 1.7GtCO₂-eq (5% global energy GHG emissions), with huge variation by field / country. 1/5… ($)
Flaring (red), heavy oil (blue), or both (yellow) are key factors increasing emissions. Flaring is 22% of average weighted carbon intensity, but much higher in some places (over 50%). Heavy oil can be very emission intensive, but not always. 2/5
This will excite Norway: "Although some giant North Sea offshore fields have shown rapidly increasing per-barrel emissions due to depletion, they have low upstream GHG intensities when compared to many other global oil fields." 3/5
Read 6 tweets
Aug 8, 2018
A #HothouseEarth THREAD

The standard headline & interpretation: We are doomed, the Earth's climate will runaway to 4-5°C even if we slash emissions.

Well, that is not what the paper says (actually, it is a Perspective), & I don't see this framing as particularly helpful!
The paper does not seem to define "Hothouse Earth", this seems to come from the press material? I don't see much on 4-5°C or 10-60m in the paper, if so, it is very indirect?
The paper "explores" if we "could" instigate feedbacks, they "could" cascade, & they "could" lead to a hothouse earth (whatever that is). "We cannot exclude" this happening at 1.5-2°C. The closing paragraph says we should investigate these issues!…
Read 10 tweets
Jun 20, 2018
THREAD on the climate sensitivity (& carbon budgets)...

After decades of research, the equilibrium climate sensitivity has remained fairly close to 3°C for a doubling of pre-industrial CO₂ concentrations.…
The range has remained stubbornly wide (1.5°C-4.5°C), despite many individual studies claiming to narrow it (particularly recent instrumental-based methods). Though, @AndrewDessler could argue that in the 1970's the range was underestimated & today it is overestimated (maybe).
Most methods have a similar range, but instrumental methods are certainly lower. Many reasons why the instrumental record may be low (aerosols, variability, temperature estimates, ocean heat content, etc, etc).
Read 9 tweets
Jun 19, 2018
This thread seems to get two things wrong
1. Emissions need to be as close as possible to zero AND CO₂ removal is needed in addition (it is not either/or)
2. Mitigation is currently FAR cheaper than removal (removal may help costly mitigation, like air to fuels for aviation)
If CO₂ removal was used to just offset existing emissions (instead of reducing emissions), it is far cheaper to deploy energy efficiency, solar, batteries, CCS, etc, then recapture emissions directly from air (expensive). Even if social cost was $80/tCO₂, still take cheapest?
In emission scenarios (shown for 1.5°C), CO₂ removal has two roles:
* Small: Offset hard to mitigate sectors (the brown does not go to zero, need CO₂ removal)
* Big: Offset earlier emissions (already emitted too much, which gets worse if we don't mitigate drastically today)
Read 5 tweets
Jun 19, 2018

What are climate scenarios?

We use scenarios to explore the consequences of uncertainties (social, political, technical, climate).…
Climate scenarios are generally separated into two categories:
1. Transition risks related to the transition to a lower-carbon economy
2. Physical risks related to the physical impacts of climate change
Both types depend on different tools & methods
Scenarios should cover a range of possible outcomes. In practice, scenarios often focus on particular outcomes (levels of radiative forcing, policy characteristics, technology portfolios, behavioural change) meaning that a large part of the scenario space can be left unexplored.
Read 8 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!