裘寅 编译自 世界石油
Investors pressure Exxon, Chevron to disclose long-term oil price forecasts
America’s biggest oil companies are coming under increasing pressure from climate-conscious investors to disclose their long-term forecasts for crude prices as the Covid-19 pandemic injects fresh uncertainty into the demand outlook for fossil fuels.
Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. don’t publish such estimates, meaning that shareholders are less able to scrutinize how the companies’ investment plans square with expectations for a global transition to clean energy. That needs to change, according to the New York State Common Retirement Fund, California State Teachers’ Retirement System, and Ceres, a Boston-based coalition of investors with $30 trillion of assets.
In Europe, major oil companies are sharing their long-term forecasts, with dramatic results. Two weeks ago, BP Plc said it had radically reduced its long-term price assumption for Brent crude, causing a writedown of as much as $17.5 billion. Royal Dutch Shell Plc warned Tuesday that it would write down as much as $22 billion in the second quarter as the pandemic hammers demand for everything from oil to liquefied natural gas.
Long-term price assumptions are critical because they’re used by Big Oil to determine whether or not a resource will be economically viable and at what value it’s held on a company’s books. Activists and some investors say companies are at risk of being overly optimistic in their assessment of future crude prices. That could lead to them to build expensive projects that effectively become worthless — so-called stranded assets — in a world transitioning toward low-carbon fuel sources.
“Exxon and Chevron should be more transparent and disclose long-term price forecasts and other information that investors need to assess their companies’ low-carbon transition plans,” said Mark Johnson, a spokesman for the Office of the New York State Comptroller, which oversees the New York State Common Retirement Fund. “Without this information, investors cannot assess whether Exxon and Chevron are serious, or just paying lip service to the threat of climate change.”