Chasing Big Mergers, Oil Executives Dismiss Peak Oil Concerns – by Clifford Krauss (New York Times – October 25, 2023)

Exxon Mobil and Chevron are spending tens of billions of dollars buying oil and gas assets, betting that the International Energy Agency’s predictions of declining oil demand are wrong.

Exxon Mobil and Chevron, the two largest U.S. oil companies, this month committed to spending more than $50 billion each to buy smaller companies in deals that would let them produce more oil and natural gas for decades to come.

But a day after Chevron announced its acquisition, the International Energy Agency released an exhaustive report concluding that demand for oil, gas and other fossil fuels would peak by 2030 as sales of electric cars and use of renewable energy surged. The disconnect between what oil companies and many energy experts think will happen in the coming years has never been quite this stark.

Big oil companies are doubling down on drilling for oil and gas and processing it into fuels for use in engines, power plants and industrial machinery. And, with only a few exceptions, they are not spending much on alternatives like wind and solar power and electric-car batteries.

“They are putting their money where their mouths are,” said Larry Goldstein, director of special projects at the Energy Policy Research Foundation, a Washington nonprofit that specializes in oil, natural gas and petroleum products.

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