Over 1,000 Fossil Fuel Titans Set to Ramp Up Climate Crisis with Massive Expansion

In stark defiance of global climate crisis warnings, over a thousand fossil fuel companies are doubling down on environmental devastation. Their audacious plan? To ramp up the global capacity of liquefied natural gas by a staggering 162%. This brazen move not only fuels the climate crisis but also blatantly disregards the urgent calls from scientists and environmentalists to curb fossil fuel reliance.

The chilling details come from the updated Global Oil & Gas Exit List (GOGEL), released Wednesday by Urgewald and its partners. As the most comprehensive public database on the fossil fuel industry, GOGEL shines a spotlight on 1,623 companies across the upstream, midstream, or gas-fired power sectors. These companies, responsible for a whopping 95% of global oil and gas production, are setting the stage for an environmental catastrophe.

A deep dive into GOGEL’s findings reveals a harrowing picture: 1,023 of these companies are actively plotting to expand their fossil fuel infrastructure. This expansion threatens to entrench years of planet-warming emissions, exacerbating the climate crisis as extreme weather events become increasingly frequent and devastating.

Nils Bartsch, Urgewald’s head of oil and gas research, doesn’t mince words: “To keep 1.5°C alive, a speedy, managed decline in both oil and gas production is vital. Instead, oil and gas companies are building a bridge to climate chaos.”

The 2023 GOGEL underscores the grim reality: 96% of the 700 upstream oil and gas companies are either exploring or developing new oil and gas fields. These projects starkly contrast the global imperative to limit temperature increase to 1.5°C. Nearly 540 companies plan to produce a colossal 230 billion barrels of oil equivalent (bboe) in the short term. Leading this charge are industry giants like Saudi Aramco, QatarEnergy, and ExxonMobil, collectively responsible for a third of the global short-term oil and gas expansion.

The LNG capacity expansion plans are equally alarming, posing a significant threat to crucial climate targets. The United Nations-backed report starkly warns that these expansion plans are “throwing humanity’s future into question.”

In the U.S., the LNG boom is particularly concerning. With 21 new export facilities planned along the Gulf Coast, the U.S. is solidifying its position as a top global LNG exporter. The Permian Basin, the heartland of U.S. fracking, is the primary source for these exports. This region alone, which spans the U.S. Southwest, hosts nearly 80 companies, including heavyweights like Exxon, Chevron, and BP.

Activists like Rebekah Hinojosa of the South Texas Environmental Justice Network are raising their voices against these developments. Hinojosa highlights the environmental and cultural impacts of projects like the Calcasieu Pass 2 and the Rio Grande LNG Terminal, which threaten to decimate undeveloped wetlands, sacred Indigenous lands, and local livelihoods.

In summary, these findings from the GOGEL database paint a grim picture of an industry marching steadfastly toward environmental ruin. The fossil fuel sector’s relentless pursuit of expansion, in blatant disregard for the catastrophic implications for our planet, calls for an urgent, united global response. This is a clarion call to action: we must resist and reverse this dangerous course to avert a climate disaster.