I am going to borrow this classic axiom to talk about the serious climate crisis on Earth that its inhabitants are suffering from. As an example, these days we are witnessing the severe frosts that are experienced in the Northern Hemisphere, with the highest incidence in the United States and Canada. On the other hand, in 2023, global temperature set a new record, which in this 21st century alone has been broken 18 times.

In this article I am going to refer specifically to COP28 and what was agreed at the most important climate conference of the year. Through my research work he placed emphasis on projects that are in full development in oil matters.

To begin with, COP28 (November 30 / December 15, 2023), had a special connotation, since it was held in an oil country, the United Arab Emirates, located among the ten largest oil producers in the world. It was also chaired by Sultan Al Jaber , executive director of the state oil company ADNOC, the world’s seventh largest crude oil producer.

Such a choice, seen from the outside, seemed strange since when we found out we immediately felt a kind of short circuit. We imagine something like a gathering of lambs presided over by lions or a convention of chickens managed by foxes.

Al Jaber ‘s designation was the subject of controversy among environmentalists from the moment it was announced by the UN (Jan 2023), organizer of the event. To try to reduce the anguish, Majid al Suwaidi , director general of COP28, stated that, “having an executive president at the head of the COP for the first time in the history of these summits, and moving away from a purely political process, will help obtain results at the December meeting” . A pretty weak argument, to say the least.

Worse still, Al Jaber , in an online meeting on November 21, expressed that “there is no science to support the claim that the progressive elimination of fossil fuels is what will allow us to reach 1.5°C. (…)” . He later went further: “show me the roadmap for a phase-out of fossil fuels that will allow for sustainable socio-economic development, unless you want to take the world back to the caves”. El Pais. This sentence caused so much alarm that the sultan had to recant, but his first words would be those that would remain in the pages of history.

The meeting ended with collective euphoria and most of the media caught on. Then the Christmas holidays came and people spoke little about COP28, in a kind of hiatus on the subject. But those that did not stop for a single day were the oil companies, and rather continued with their activity without paying attention to the conclusions of the recently concluded climate conference.

Below I present the results of my work, through a selection of headlines related to oil activities and other hydrocarbons, which I recognized in various media. This is a collection of news published from December 16 to the current date, that is, about five weeks after the closing of COP28. (It is also fair to point out that there is an abundance of news about advances in renewable energy, which will prevail sooner rather than later).

But, without a doubt, there are still too many projects on exploration, extraction, financing and other activities that involve investors to promote fossil fuels. So it is clear that there are governments, banks and oil companies promoting intense activity in the sector, which proves their unwillingness to observe the recommendations and conclusions emanating from COP28 and the Paris Agreement. This is what the second part of this article is about, that is, “look at what they do“.

Related news on oil activities and other hydrocarbons (Dec 16, 2023 – Jan 21, 2024)

12-16-2023 Milei is preparing to shake up the Argentine oil industry”. “Its success in deregulating the sector and attracting more investments still depends on an effective and timely correction of the country’s macroeconomic imbalances, according to Wood Mackenzie”. The Energy Newspaper.

12-18-2023: PDVSA and Spanish Repsol sign agreement to modify terms of joint venture”. – The Venezuelan state company PDVSA and Repsol of Spain signed an agreement this Monday that will allow them to produce oil and natural gas for 15 years, according to an announcement by the two entities. Voice of America.com

01-01-2024 China surprises again: it finds a gigantic oil reserve” . – “Now, it seems that China has found a huge oil reserve under the soil of its sovereignty, so an important question has been raised: will China abandon its efforts against Climate Change?” Voice of America.com.

04-01-2024. Hydrocarbon law reform approved in El Salvador”. Despite the opposition of environmentalists, the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador approved reforms to the Hydrocarbons Law, highlighted today by the press. Latin Press.

05-01-2024 APA acquires the oil company Callon for US$ 4,500 million” . “American energy company APA Corporation agreed to buy its competitor Callon Petroleum in a transaction valued at around US$4.5 billion, including debt, both companies announced this Friday” . Management.pe.

05-01-2024 Canadian oil company completes purchase to operate the Vencupet joint venture with PDVSA” . “Petrolera Vencupet owns the production rights to the Adas , Lido, Limón, Leona, Oficina Norte and Oficina Central fields, all located in the states of Anzoátegui and Monagas”. The Universal.com.

06/01/2024 Mexico’s Pemex explores business in Venezuela with PDVSA. “Executives of the Mexican state company met with Caracas authorities to “evaluate energy relations”. DW.com.

06-01-2024 Gazprom sets a new historical record for daily gas supply to China”. “The previous record began a day earlier, on January 2, just after daily pipeline gas supplies to China reached a new level stipulated by the contract for 2024” , the company said in its statement. Globovision.com.

06-01-2024. Vaca Muerta: how the new 600 km gas pipeline can help Argentina get out of the economic crisis” . “According to official and international estimates, Vaca Muerta has the second largest resources in the world in gas and the fourth largest in oil, both in unconventional format… through the technique of fracking (or hydraulic fracturing)”. BBC World.

01-10-2024. The impact of Venezuelan heavy oil on the US industry” . “A recent ranking showed which are the three South American countries that export the most oil to the United States and the result was surprising” . Mase Imneuquen.

01-10-2024. “The islands brimming with oil are preparing to multiply the crude production of an OPEC titan”. “These Islands will account for more than 50% of the UAE’s production by 2030. They have permanent accommodation for 2,500 people, offices, common areas… This year, the four most important islands will produce one million barrels per day”. The Economist.

01-11-2024. The oil and gas industry in Texas: an overview. “The oil and gas industry in Texas has played a critical role in the state economy for decades. With its abundance of natural resources and well-developed infrastructure, Texas has become one of the leading producers of oil and gas in the United States”. Motorblog.com.

01-14-2024. “6 shipments will leave: North American businessman signed an agreement with PDVSA to buy asphalt.” “The first load of asphalt will leave the port of Amuay, in the state of Falcón, on the ship < White Allegra > and is scheduled to arrive in New York in 6 days”. Banking and Business.

01-17-2024. Something smells rotten in Russian oil: Moscow produces less crude but drills more than ever”. “The Kremlin has announced a drilling record not seen since the USSR. Experts warn of long-term problems in older wells. From Russia they claim that they are preparing for a future without OPEC cuts”. The Economist.

01-17-2024. Ecopetrol and Parex made a new discovery of gas and oil in Arauca”. ”The discovery was made in the Arauca-8 exploratory well in Saravena, which, according to the oil companies and MinEnergía, showed positive results in its tests”. wradio.com.co.

01-18-2024. Argentina would destroy Colombia as an oil producer in Latin America”. “The International Energy Agency (IEA), in its most recent report on oil for 2024, released information that would put the Colombian oil market on red alert: it stated that Argentina would surpass Colombia as the third oil producer in Latin America”. Value Analysis.

01-21-2024. Oil in 2024: Goldman believes that OPEC will not let it fall below $80… or exceed $100”. He expects demand to remain strong and cartel supply to remain low next year. Bolsamanía.com.

01-21-2024. We are not going anywhere: ExxonMobil will continue to increase crude oil production in Guyana”. ExxonMobil is producing nearly 600,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), after drilling more than 40 wells off the Essequibo region in Guyana. Banking and Business.

Finally, outside of the chosen period, there is news that is important to note:

10-13-2023. US oil production reaches all-time high and collides with efforts to curb pollution”. “While the United Nations and scientists say the world must reduce carbon emissions by 43% by 2030 and to zero or near zero by 2050, several developed countries around the world are producing dangerously more fossil fuels”. Los Angeles time.

Sandor Alejandro Gerendas-Kiss
Editor of SGK-Planet