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Top Oil Refiners Aim To Boost Synthetic Fuel Sales

The biggest refiners in Europe unveiled on Monday a pathway to reduce emissions in the transportation sector by scaling up the production of synthetic fuels to contribute to the European Union’s 2050 climate neutrality goal.

FuelsEurope, the association of the biggest refiners in Europe which includes oil majors ExxonMobil, Phillips 66, Valero, Shell, BP, Eni, Equinor, and Total, among others, believes that synthetic fuels, or the so-called low-carbon liquid fuels (LCLF), could enable the climate neutrality in road transportation by 2050.

LCLF are sustainable fuels from non-petroleum origin with no or very limited carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions during their production and use, FuelsEurope said, as some of its members—such as Shell—have already said that they would look to cut not only emissions from their upstream operations, but also from the products they sell to customers.

The pathway to develop LCLF for road, maritime, and air transport to 2050 would need investments of between US$450 billion (400 billion euro) and US$731 billion (650 billion euro), according to FuelsEurope.

“Major investments, in addition to those already deployed, could start in the next years, with first-of-a-kind plants at industrial scale potentially coming into operation at the latest by 2025,” the association said.

“Complementary to electrification and hydrogen technologies, low carbon liquid fuels will be essential throughout the energy transition and beyond 2050, ensuring security of supply, providing consumer choice and also building Europe’s industrial leadership,” John Cooper, Director General of FuelsEurope, said in a statement.

“In the most ambitious scenario, climate neutrality could be achieved for all remaining liquid fuel in road transport, with a 50% reduction in carbon intensity for EU’s aviation and maritime sectors,” Cooper said.

FuelsEurope acknowledges the fact that decarbonizing the transportation sector will take hundreds of billions of dollars of investment and a lot of collaboration among stakeholders.

“We call on EU policymakers to establish a high-level dialogue with all relevant stakeholders as soon as possible. For the fuels industry’s part, we are ready to take the lead,” Cooper said.  

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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