Oil and Gas

Guidance for the oil and gas sector

Why take action?

The combustion of fossil fuels represents the single largest source of carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, the oil and gas (O&G) industry is one of the largest contributors of methane emissions. To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and avoid catastrophic and irreversible climate change, the sector must radically transform.

O&G companies are highly exposed to net-zero transformation risks - as well as opportunities. With its considerable scientific, technical, economic and financial assets, the sector wields enormous power to drive ambitious climate action and build the net-zero economy that we urgently need. That's why the SBTi established the O&G Project.

The purpose of this project is to develop science-based target setting methodologies that allow stakeholders, including companies, investors, governments and civil society, to understand the transformation O&G companies must make to align with the Paris Agreement. The project, first and foremost, will address embedded emissions in fuel supplied, but will also seek to address scope 1 emissions (energy and methane process emissions). At a later stage, the project will consider scope 2 emissions and links to the refinery and petrochemical industry, consistent with the SBTi’s chemical sector development.

The SBTi is taking a transparent, phased approach to the development of this guidance. While we continue to develop our methodology, the SBTi is unable to accept commitments or validate targets for companies in the O&G or fossil fuels sectors. Find out more about our fossil fuel policy.

To date, the SBTi has taken the following actions in the methodology development process:

  • January 2023: The SBTi and Mott MacDonald publish the outcomes from the EAG review of the draft O&G methodology.

  • September 2022: The SBTi and Mott MacDonald publish the Oil and Gas Interim Report providing an update on the status of the project and the next steps.

  • May 2022: The SBTi partners with Mott MacDonald to support the review and finalization of science-based methods and guidance for the O&G sector, through the facilitation of an Expert Advisory Group (EAG) review.

  • March 2022: The SBTi institutes its policy to pause target commitments and validations for fossil fuel companies while development work continues.

  • April 2021: The project Steering Committee pauses the O&G project due to several challenges, including resource limitations associated with COVID-19 and the prioritization of other SBTi workstreams, such as the SBTi Net-Zero Standard.

  • October 2020: The SBTi publishes draft resources outlining science-based target setting methods and guidance for O&G companies. This work was the outcome of a collaborative process involving a technical working group composed of approximately 20 members, representing civil society organizations, oil, gas and integrated energy companies, investors, policymakers, academics and other experts. Resources and a list of participants in this process can be found here.

Initial Development Phase

Browse more sectors

If your sector is not listed here, you can still set a science-based target using our methods and resources. Consult the step-by-step guide to get started.

Sector Status
Aluminium Scoping Phase View
Apparel and footwear Finalized View
Aviation In Development View
Buildings In Development View
Chemicals In Development View
Cement Finalized View
Financial institutions Finalized View
Forest, Land and Agriculture (FLAG) Finalized View
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Finalized View
Maritime Finalized View
Oil and Gas In Development View
Power Finalized View
Steel Finalized View
Transport In Development View