Petronas, the Malaysian state-run oil and gas company, has declared its target to achieve net zero carbon emissions by the year 2050 - the latest in the global oil market to adopt a more environmentally-friendly goal.

Formally known as Petroliam Nasional Berhad, or National Petroleum Limited, the company has recently announced its roadmap to adopt cleaner forms of energy, both in its products and its operations.

"As the world contends with the many challenges brought about by energy transition, Petronas is embracing its role in providing access to affordable, secure and sustainable energy to businesses and society," said Tengku Muhammad Taufik, Petronas' President and CEO, in a company statement. Taufik reiterated Petronas' commitment in fulfilling its "purpose" in generating cleaner energy and energy solutions for the benefit of its customers  and the rest of the world.

Petronas first made its announcement toward net zero carbon emissions through Taufik in the recently-concluded President's Townhall event last October 28.


Petronas Declares Aspirations for 2050

The state-owned international oil player recalls its Statement of Purpose, in which it declared its intent to work towards becoming a "progressive energy and solutions provider" a year before the global coronavirus pandemic crippled large parts of the world.

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"We are making this commitment to make a positive change - not only to ride the energy transition - but because a fundamental shift is needed and the organisation wants to be part of the solution, for the world that yearns for a path towards a more sustainable future." Taufik said in a statement.

To achieve this target, Petronas lays down a number of focus areas it commits to work on for the following years. First is its vision of "Building on Operational Excellence Strengths," which includes reduction plans for hydrocarbon flaring and venting, and capturing its own methane emissions for both production and operational processes.

Petronas is also looking toward investing in Nature-based Solutions, including the restoration and preservation of ecosystems that work as carbon sinks, further driving down carbon dioxide emissions that get released back into the atmosphere. It has also declared investing in emission reduction technologies - specifying carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) technology in its high-emission areas.

Oil Giants Going Green?

Petronas' declarations follow its fellow oil and gas players including BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell PLC. In February, the London-based multinational oil company BP Plc declared what was hailed as among the bravest climate plans to come from an oil firm. Under its new chief executive officer at the time, Bernard Looney, BP made the bold promise of zeroing out all its carbon emissions from the fossil fuels it draws from the ground.

"We have got to change -- and change profoundly," Looney said in a statement.

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Following suit, Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell has also made its commitment towards becoming a net zero company. Setting the same 2050 target, Shell is also looking to reduce its carbon footprint down to zero, including its emissions from its power plants. In terms of its products, the Netherlands-based oil company seeks to cut emissions by up to 65 percent.

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