Petrobras continues to bet on oil and is not going for the net-zero emission "fad" as all European oil majors have done, Roberto Castello Branco, the chief executive of Brazil's state-held oil firm, told Bloomberg in an interview.
"That's like a fad, to make promises for 2050. It's like a magical year," Castello Branco told Bloomberg.
"On this side of the Atlantic we have a different view of climate change," the executive said.
The biggest oil corporations in the Americas, including U.S. supermajors Exxon and Chevron, have not promised to become net-zero emission businesses by 2050, unlike all major oil firms in Europe—BP, Shell, Eni, Equinor, Total, and Repsol, which have raced to announce green strategies over the past year.
In the Americas, Occidental Petroleum became the first major U.S. oil firm to announce a net-zero emissions goal last month.
Petrobras of Brazil, however, continues to bet big on oil, and although it pledges emissions cuts, it doesn't plan any pivot to renewables in the medium term.
On its investor day to present the strategic plan through 2025 earlier this week, Petrobras said it would aim to reduce its operating emissions by 25 percent by 2030, achieve zero routine flaring by 2030, and cut methane emission intensity in the upstream by 40 percent by 2025, among other sustainability goals.
Still, the Brazilian major will continue to focus on oil and gas assets in deep and ultra-deep waters in the pre-salt basin offshore Brazil.
"The best energy company in shareholder value creation, with a focus on oil and gas, with safety and respect for people and the environment," Petrobras said in its plan.
"We have a lot of research on renewables, but for the future. We don't plan to invest a dollar in renewables as a policy for the next five years," Castello Branco said earlier this week, as quoted by Argus.
Oil will continue to be in demand for a very long time because it "is still the backbone of modern society," Castello Branco told Bloomberg.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Petrobras and American supermajors ExxonMobil and Chevron have the strength of conviction to admit it while their European counterparts like Shell, Total, BP, Eni, Repsol and Equinor wanted to burnish their environmental credentials by talking about achieving net zero emissions by 2050 although deep in their hearts they know it is impossible to achieve.
Oil and gas will continue to be the core business of the global oil industry and the fulcrum of the global economy throughout the 21st century and probably far beyond.
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London