Global oil markets are as lubricated with supply as ever. That, however, hasn't stopped major oil companies from testing an unusual energy production strategy—protecting the environment from carbon emissions.
With varying degrees of success over the years, Big Oil has tried—but mostly failed—to bolster its green credentials even as it pumps more fossil fuels. Royal Dutch Shell is the latest example of how oil majors are trying to strike an environmentally friendly pose.
In a speech at Columbia University in New York last week, CEO Ben van Beurden added his voice to the growing chorus of those who think the U.S. ought to export its burgeoning oil bounty.
Yet van Beurden devoted a surprising amount of time to addressing what he termed "the real and current threat of climate change," and he promoted Shell's own initiatives to reduce carbon emissions. The CEO implied that oil companies and conservationists could find common ground in a "skewed global debate" about the environment and oil production.