Google Renounces the Oil and Gas Sector
Google is generally considered one of the most environmentally conscious large-scale enterprises in the world today, having remained carbon neutral since 2007. However, following a damning Greenpeace report that details how the three big tech companies (Google, Microsoft and Amazon) aid oil and gas exploration by providing tailored AI and cloud solutions, Google has upped the ante for its competitors by completely renouncing this sector.
Google has now pledged that it will halt the building of customized AI tools that aid oil and gas exploration firms in locating new deposits. The Greenpeace report – titled “How Tech Companies are Helping Big Oil Profit from Climate Destruction” – observes in the beginning part of its summary that:
“As the oil and gas industry confronts the end of the oil age and deteriorating earnings, major oil corporations such as Shell, BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and others have turned to the cloud giants and their high powered computing capabilities to find and extract more oil and gas and reduce production costs.Contracts between tech firms and oil and gas companies are now found in every phase of the oil and gas production chain and are significantly undermining the climate commitments that Microsoft, Google, and Amazon have made.”
Bear in mind that Amazon’s AWS currently controls around 33 percent of the global cloud market, followed by Microsoft’s Azure at 18 percent, and then Google at 8 percent. The lucrative nature of the tech sector’s dealings with the oil and gas industry provides an impetus for continued engagement.
The Greenpeace report quotes a finding by the consulting firm Accenture that predicts generation of $425 billion in value for the oil and gas sector by 2025 from the continued use of advanced analytics and modeling. Moreover, BloombergNEF has estimated that the oil sector’s expenditure on cloud computing and advanced analytics will balloon from $2.5 billion in 2020 to $15.7 billion by 2030.
The Greenpeace report identifies Microsoft as the tech company with most linkages to the oil and gas sector, with the company providing AI services in all spheres of oil production. Moreover, Amazon has linkages to the midstream and downstream phases of oil exploration, pipelines, shipping, and even storage. The Greenpeace report is less critical of Google, noting the changes that seem to depict the tech giant’s de-prioritization of existing contracts with the fossil fuel industry.
Following the identification of gaps in its environmental strategy, Google has now confirmed to CNBC that: “[The company] will not … build custom AI/ML algorithms to facilitate upstream extraction in the oil and gas industry.”
Read the entire article at: WCCFtech.