Oil Firms Have 10 Years to Change Strategy or Face ‘Short, Brutish End’
by Terry Macalister (The Guardian) Business models employed by multinationals such as Shell and BP are no longer fit for purpose, warns energy expert — … Paul Stephens, a fellow at Chatham House thinktank, said in a research paper the oil “majors” were no longer fit for purpose – hit by low crude prices, tightening climate change regulations and their own wrongheaded strategies.
In the report, Stephens argues the only way forward for the companies lies in diversifying into green energy, drastically reducing their operations or consolidating through mega-mergers.
The companies, increasingly facing calls from many of their shareholders to take more account of the environment, have also been stalwarts of the London stock market and important providers of dividends for British pension funds.
Stephens believes the companies have spent too much time trying to maximise shareholder value by finding and proving more reserves while outsourcing key operations.
“This requires a major change in the corporate culture of the IOCs. It remains to be seen whether their senior management can manage such a fundamental shift. If they can, then the IOCs will be able to slip into a gentle decline but ultimately survive, albeit on a much smaller scale. If they do not change their business model, what remains of their existence will be nasty, brutish and short.”
The big oil companies, including US firms such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron, have been warned that they are presiding over “stranded assets” of carbon that can never be burned if the world is determined to keep average temperatures from rising no more than 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial levels. READ MORE and MORE (MIT Technology Review)