Global Warming Survey Results 2013-2014-2015

Over the last 3 years we’ve had over a thousand responses to our surveys on Global Warming, with 376 for the latest, 2015 survey. My thanks to all who responded, and to our friends at The Oil & Gas Yearbook for distributing it to their readers.

The respondent profile has remained largely consistent, though this year we had a few more professional advisers responding. Overall, it seems that people are increasingly aware of what a problem global warming is, but pessimistic about out ability, or willingness, to act.

In response to a new question in 2015, nearly 60% believe that addressing global warming should be a high priority for oil and gas companies – the same number that see it as a high priority for governments.

I would be interested in your views on what this means for E&P management: do they already see it as a high priority, or do they assume it’s a problem to be solved by governments or elsewhere in the industry?

Please share your views on this survey, or on global warming more generally, in the comments area.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Q1.  Do you think that global warming is happening?

Question 1

Q2. Assuming global warming is happening, do you think it is…

Question 3

Q3.  How serious a problem is global warming?

Question 4

Q4.  Which of the following statements comes closest to your view?

Question 5

Q5.  What do you think should be the priority of global warming for governments?

Question 6

Q6.  Assuming global warming is happening, what is the best way to reduce mankind’s impact on global warming?

Question 7

Q7.  What is the best policy tool that governments have to reduce emissions to the economic optimum?

Question 8

Q8. What do you think should be the priority of global warming for oil and gas companies?

Question 9

Q9. A little about you please, where do you work?

Question 2


  1. John Fullmr says:

    Why is the best possible solution to greenhouse gas emmisions (nuclear) not even presented as an option? It is obvious their is an agenda in this survey. Taxing only shifts money it doesn’t prevent carbon emissions and if it does it is only by making it unaffordable. Truly if people really believe global warming is man made then we should see a huge push for nuclear power. Nuclear power is the only real solution to huge power demands that are currently being met by cogeneration of natural gas or coal. In fact why have electric cars till we move more towards electric generation from nuclear power vs coal or NG. My company does do service work in the Oil and Gas market so I have no affiliation with the nuclear industry.

    • Dear John – thank you for the comment. Please believe me when I say we have absolutely no agenda. We work hard to ensure that the survey design is unbiased. Perhaps we should have a question about substitutes to fossil fuels sucjh as nuclear? Q6 is about reducing the “green house gases” in the atmosphere. Q7 is a generic question about reducing any kind or emmission to the economic optimum (these tools are well known). Of course, Q6 and Q7 both pre-suppose that there is a problem with Global Warming – but responders have ample scope in Q1-5 to dispute this hypothesis.

  2. Ahmed M. Elghaber says:

    Dear Angus..
    I do appreciate, fillow up an support your effort to scout and present some general opinion on the climate critical changes caused by reasons that some we could realise and effect to the positive of our lives.
    I have over 30 years exprience in all facets of oil and gas industry local and worldwide. I contributed extensively in reviewing climate and environment protection plans in several countries and regions.I also worked largely with some private and govrtnment agencies in screening alternatives for clean energy applications…such as solar, wind, neclear…etc.
    In comenting on your questionsof the survey I would breifly make the following remarks:
    1-It is definite that the earth is exhihbiting increasingly higher temperature by advancing human beings we noticed this and we also managedvto deduce some ideas about what could be the causes of this higher temperature things like the green house effect apparently created by gases that are fumed from what people consume as food, fuel and othrrs. But we should all know that this global is created by means and ways way above our comprehension, so we dont know what is going on around oyr plant and what could causing this warming..and thus our ability to reduce it could condequently limited or vainly worthless..In some way I beleive that the earh growing in time just like the human body, it ages and deteriorate regardless what we fo to upkeep it with care and medications.Obviousky this analogy of human body aging is not carrying with it the nihilistic fate to the gliobal, as we don’t know when and how the globe will develop with time..And definirely we should do iur utmost to reduce the negative side effects of we consume on our earth..
    2 In doing so i.e to prevent these negative side effect, and possibly invite more enthusiasm frim people either individuals and or entities we should change the cal to “help or rescue mother nature” unstead of protect the climate which may sound accusive and thus calling for help to mother nature it sends and generates a strong sympathising and supportive response from all with no potential chidable guilt feelings. And it makes all act on the basis that the globe is changing naturally but not to our liking, however we should (can) help improve and enhance the results of this change to make our lives better.
    3- In doing so I recommend that all voncerned world agencies should work to make it our priority to prevent and minimize fuming gases that lead to global warming by undertaking plans as national goals to acheive the following targets:
    A-Reduce, as much as our lives allow , the emitting harmfull gases to climate..(I know there is lot to be done..and the world is getting to grips with it…I support it)
    B- Should enforce and help all sunny countrues to maximize utilizing solar energy..
    C- Should enforce “Zero Flare ” in all oil and gas producing countries. This mandate should include countries and firms that produce znd manufacture HC fuels and products.
    E- Should enforce access mandates to places whereby petmfrost are and improvise methods to reduce its generations of damaging gases to the climate.
    Thak you for including me in your mailing list, and please don t hesitate to ask me for any help you deem needed to your objectives.
    Ahmed M. ELGHABER
    Petroleum Eng. Consultant.
    Mahdia Tunisia.

  3. John Burke says:

    Regarding Global Warming

    Your survey still pre-supposes MMGW and this, to a certain extent is true, although not in the way the media/Governments/IPCC portrays this situation.

    This planet has been far hotter in the past; +5 degrees hotter in fact plus greater concentrations of CO2. But this led to massive organic plant growth – from which the Oil and Gas Industry benefit from today.

    However my major concern is that the actions of a small number of [so called] scientists are ‘experimenting’ on a global scale for some 30-40 years with ‘’Solar Radiation Management’’ and specifically ‘Stratospheric Aerosols’, commonly referred to as ‘Geo-Engineering’, ‘’in order to mitigate MMGW’’; itself a false premise.

    Their [misguided] actions are in practice causing warming – so the IPCC can claim its views [in fact Dogma] is correct. The incidence of artificial cloud cover [to reflect solar gain to space] as perpetrated by this massive scale ‘experimentation’, conducted on a daily basis over most of the Western World is preventing night-time radiative cooling at the surface. This needs more research and significant publicity to counter the dogma of MMGW.

    My own global policy objectives would be ‘waste reductions’ through and in addition to, increased efficiency measures. The Oil and Gas Industry has a long way to go here. Flaring, Leakage, Spills, process inefficiencies all contribute to the ‘’bad boy’’, ‘’don’t give a damn’’; image of the industry. Furthermore the power industry has also to share a significant amount of criticism for its [pathetic] conversion efficiencies of fuel to electricity; circa 22-25%. However more importantly they fail to recognise that their real objective must be USABLE [and thus saleable] ENERGY. Combined Heat and Power – plus Cooling systems need to be the ‘norm’ as should decentralised power, which would by the location of many small local plants be able to distribute hot water and chilled water to commercial and/or residential consumers.

    The issue of deforestation and micro-climate control also needs serious policy change. Forests do far more than just look ‘green’. They control evaporative moisture loss [far more important than most give credit for], stabilise soils/topography, provide food AND medicines. These we have to work with on both a Global, National, Regional, City, and personal level. The science of Permaculture needs to replace industrialised mono-culture farming practices.

    Lastly the Oil and Gas Industry, as well as Governments need to make far more efficient usage of bacterial action – which can efficiently help us deal with current wastes and other process by-products by turning them into gas [typically methanes] and food. Combined sewage and organic waste plants can also be ‘exporters’ of methane for use in distributed Combined Heat/Cooling and Power, rather than the current technologies which are fragmented, and often rely on combustion only.

    I could go on [and on], but I feel there are far more significant policy targets to aim for than the bogus MMGW dogma that has now pervaded global policy makers heads [as filled by the current scientific school of dogma].

  4. Should energy/E&P companies worry about global warming? Whether you believe in global warming or not the answer is yes because the threat of global warming has spurred on the development of electricity storage technologies such that their cost is reducing by 10-15% per annum. In 10 years time it is not unreasonable to be able to envisage a scenario where grid scale electricity storage based on renewables could become highly cost competitive – even more so if taxes on carbon consumption/emissions come into play. In this world there will be no incentive to to explore for new sources of hydrocarbon and indeed we may well then be in a world where we leave 50% of the existing reserves underground (as numerous authors on the subject of climate change have been arguing for). The difference in this world is that the reserves are being left in the ground for economic rather than environmental reasons – although the two goals clearly coincide.

    What does this mean for energy/E&P companies? For energy companies it means further diversification into renewables and energy storage – for E&P companies it becomes a sell, buy, or merge dilemma. BG plc went the sell route – and Shell went the buy route. If the low cost electricity storage world comes about how much of the purchased gas reserves will be economically exploitable and how much written off? Will Shell hedge its bets and also expand its renewables and/or energy storage portfolio?

    It is interesting that these strategic questions are now being driven by the falling cost of energy storage rather than climate change concern itself. Climate change concerns may have accelerated the process by spurring investment in these technologies but it may well be that it is engineering and economics that will drive the shape of the future world (i.e. cheap electricity storage) rather than political will (which may or may not be forthcoming – we await Paris in December!)

    • That is a provocative comment by Peter Franklin. He seems to suggest that the end for E&P companies will come quickly, starting in just 10 years. What do you think? I don’t buy in to it. O&G companies have faced tremendous threats over the years and always risen to the challenge (think of the natinalisations in the 1970s or ultra low oil price in the 1990s). The indisustry can prosper with a level playing field (e.g. end to punitive taxes, removal of subsidies for alternative fuels and the pricing in of all externaties to all energy, not just fossil fuels). If the world decides that global warming is happening and wants to do something about it, then I am betting that E&P will be a part of the solution. Think about the move to gas, hydrogen fuel, carbon sequestration etc etc. Not economic now, perhaps, but then neither are energy storage technologies.

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