Oil and gas executives are holding out for a hero
The vast majority of energy and natural resources execs say that slashing their companies’ emissions is a top priority — yet only a third believe they’ll move faster than their peers in achieving those reductions. Call it the corner office disconnect.
Why it matters: Oil, gas, and mining CEOs are notoriously conservative in strategy; making bold claims at conferences while quietly hoping others will make ambitious moves. That's the worst possible outcome for consumers.
Driving the news: Bain & Co. surveyed more than 1,000 of its client executives in the energy and natural resources sectors, publishing the results this week.
By the numbers: 88% of respondents said that reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions is a "key priority." Yet only 37% said that they'll keep up with their competition.
- In oil and gas, half of those surveyed expect to see their core business decline within a decade.
- North American oil and gas execs are nearly twice as likely as European peers to stall investment in new business areas, blaming policy and regulatory uncertainty.
- As the chart above shows, oil and gas has the resources to spend.
💭 Our thought bubble: Oil and gas execs are walking where they should be running, as just 10% expect to replace core business lines by 2030. That's led to some strange impacts.
- Take fuel prices: Oil and gas companies have held off on building expensive new refineries, in part due to an expected surge in EV adoption.
- Yet they've not replaced that investment with a similar level of buy-in on the energy transition. As a result, motorists get pinched with painfully high prices and few affordable alternatives.
Bottom line: That's, of course, a simplification; markets are complicated. But the survey accurately reflects how oil and gas execs have adopted a bunker mentality: protect against current risks, avoid taking new ones — and wait for someone else to swoop in to save the day and their balance sheets.
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to note that a third of energy and natural resources expect their companies to move faster than their peers, rather than keep pace with peers.