Apr 2, 2019

Saudi Aramco offers climate pitch for a carbon-constrained world

An oil rig off the coast of Saudi Arabia. Photo: Getty Images

There's interesting information in Saudi Aramco's 469-page bond prospectus, beyond the $111 billion net income last year that Axios Generate noted on Monday.

Driving the news: The state oil giant lays out a series of climate and climate-policy related risks to its business, including reduced demand for fossil fuels, litigation, and threats to infrastructure.

The intrigue: The Saudis are increasingly making the case that in a carbon-constrained world, their oil will have market-staying power.

  • That's because of its relatively low carbon intensity (that is, emissions per unit of output) compared to other major producers.
  • Their prospectus lists the CO2 intensity of Aramco production among their "competitive strengths."
  • It also repeatedly highlights a Stanford-led analysis listed last year in the peer-reviewed journal Science that addresses the topic. (Note: Aramco helped fund the research, but the authors of the study said it did not influence the findings.)
"Climate change concerns may cause demand for crude oil with lower average carbon intensities to increase relative to those with higher average carbon intensities."
— The prospectus

What they're saying: "I see it as a recognition of what's important to a large portion of investors and consumers," oil analyst and Saudi expert Ellen Wald told me yesterday.

Flashback: Experts have been predicting that the Saudis would increasingly emphasize this, including Rice University's Jim Krane in a paper last year.

Go deeper ... A petro-tipping point: U.S. to surpass Saudi oil exports

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America's future looks a lot like Nevada

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Today's Nevada caucus will foreshadow the future of American politics well beyond 2020.

Why it matters: The U.S. is in the midst of a demographic transformation, and the country's future looks a lot like Nevada's present. Today's results, in addition to shaping the 2020 race, will help tell us where politics is headed in a rapidly changing country.

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

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