India's three big refiners, Indian Oil Corp, BP and HP, aim to invest Rs3.5-4 trillion to reach their net zero-emissions goals by 2040. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Govt to fund state refiners’ green goals via equity: Sources

The Centre launched a multi-billion-dollar process seeking equity in its three big state refiners, Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp, to fund the firms’ energy transition projects, Reuters reported. The Oil Ministry on Wednesday asked IOC, BPCL, to launch rights issues, and asked and HPCL to make a preferential share allotment to the government. 

The 2023/24 federal budget provided ₹300 billion ($3.66 billion) in equity to help state oil refiners move towards cleaner energy. Combined, the three refiners aim to invest ₹3.5-4 trillion to reach their net zero-emissions goals by 2040, the sources said this week.

Australian fossil fuel expansion: Key players behind Darwin’s new port and manufacturing hub 

Darwin’s Middle Arm precinct is to be a major manufacturing centre for gas, petrochemicals, blue and green hydrogen and critical minerals. The precinct is key to the territory’s ambition to develop its massive natural gas reserves in the Beetaloo basin and offshore. According to new documents as seen by Guardian Australia, “the Northern Territory government pursued a strategy to influence the commonwealth government to support the establishment of gas-based manufacturing in the NT”.

‘90% EU hydrogen projects risk prolonging use of natural gas, a fossil fuel’

Data compiled by Brussels-based research and advocacy group Food & Water Action Europe, has evealed that 90% of European COmmission’s proposed hydrogen projects could be used to prolong the use of planet-warming natural gas. The analysis said  57% of 147 hydrogen projects under consideration by the European Commiss ion are designed to also carry natural gas, or “blue” hydrogen made from the fossil fuel. A further 33% of projects have failed to rule out carrying fossil-based hydrogen, or have no credible plans to source climate-friendly “green” hydrogen. 

Only 10% of the projects explicitly commit to using green hydrogen – which is produced from water using a process powered by wind or solar energy, and does not produce the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with other forms of the energy carrier.

Huge environmental risks posed by orphaned oil and gas wells in the United States

According to a new study, there are hundreds of thousands of documented and undocumented “orphaned” oil and gas wells that are open and potential polluters as they contaminate water supplies, degrade ecosystems, and emit methane and other air pollutants.  Plugging all documented in the US would exceed the $4.7bn federal funding by 30–80%. The authors analyse data on 81,857 documented orphaned wells across the US. They find that more than 4.6 million people live within one kilometre of a documented orphaned well. The paper adds 91% of documented orphaned wells “overlie formations favourable for geologic storage of carbon dioxide and hydrogen, meaning that orphaned well plugging can reduce leakage risks from future storage projects.

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