Studies have found that very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO), mandated for ships by the IMO on January 1st this year, is causing a spike in black carbon emissions due to VLSFO’s higher aromatic compound content. Black carbon is particularly harmful as even though it’s short-lived, it traps 3,200 times more atmospheric heat than CO2.
In fact, the 10-85% rise in black carbon emissions would likely cause Arctic ice to melt away even faster as it lessens their capacity to reflect sunlight and heat. Global fuel suppliers are now being questioned on why the findings were not taken note of when finalising the guidelines for low-sulphur fuel blends.
Oslo court approves new licences for Arctic oil exploration
A court in Oslo, Norway, has approved licences for oil and gas exploration in the Arctic — off the Norwegian coast — despite climate campaigners and even its own citizens vehemently opposing any such allowances to Big Oil. The court overruled a lower court’s decision to consider that fuels extracted from Norwegian territory but burnt elsewhere must be considered as causing harm to climate action.
Instead, it ruled that lawful deals signed by the government with drillers weren’t necessarily for the courts to review, and the resulting emissions could be compensated for by carbon markets.
India to start buying Russian oil over Middle East problems
Three of India’s top state refiners are reportedly close to signing their first annual deals with Russia to buy its crude oil. IOC, HPCL and BPCL will each sign contracts for the fuel, even though it would cost more, to hedge against supply shortages from the Middle East. IOC is considering purchasing as many as 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) from Russia, as India’s key supplier, Iran, is battling US sanctions that prohibit it from selling oil.