Aramco's Carbon Emissions Could Be "Nearly Double" What The Company Discloses

It was no secret that leading up to Saudi Arabian Oil Co.'s IPO in 2019 that the company touted its low emissions compared to other producers.

Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser said while the company was doing its roadshows: “Not because our crude is cleaner than other crudes globally. It’s because of our standards. Even though our numbers are great, climate change is critical for the world.”

But now, it appears the company may have "failed to provide a complete picture", according to a new Bloomberg report. The report says that Aramco fails to account for emissions generated from many of its refineries and petrochemical plants. 

Inclusive of the omissions, Bloomberg estimates that the company's carbon footprint would "nearly double", and that Aramco would add as much as 55 million metric tons of CO2 to its annual tally. 

Now that investors “need to be able to put a price on the climate risks that they are running in their portfolios,” as one commodity researcher put it, the carbon footprint numbers can easily turn into a "red flag". 

When Bloomberg reached Aramco for questioning, the company replied: “We have a clear and deliberate path to increase the scope and details of [emissions] disclosure.” It said its current number “reflects emissions from those assets where Aramco has the accountability and ability to manage and control emissions.”

The company gets away with its current disclosures by pointing to the process of extracting the oil in Saudi Arabia. It will often cite studies that show that extraction of Saudi oil generates the second-lowest amount of emissions in the world.

But this fails to capture the emissions that are generated from refining the crude, a crucial process for making the "black gunk" into sellable products like jet fuel or gasoline. The company instead only chooses to report emissions from facilities it wholly owns and that are inside of the kingdom.

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