In this Energy Insight, the challenges of the energy transition for international oil companies (IOCs) is explored. It is argued that energy demand forecasts are in consistent with meeting Paris Agreement targets using currently available and economic technologies and that, barring a radical change in tendencies, significant volumes of oil and gas will be required well after 2050. However, there will be growing political, societal and financial market pressure to accelerate decarbonization.
This poses a major challenge for IOCs, whose current business models and technologies are incompatible with full decarbonization, but whose future depends on them being part of the solution. The paper analyzes a set of investment opportunities that the IOCs are pursuing within the decarbonization space and identifies some of the opportunities and risks they face.