Of the biggest U.S. oil and gas companies, EOG Resources Inc. is the least prepared for a low-carbon economy, according to BloombergNEF. That’s based on an analysis of the company’s business-model transition risk. The overall research focuses on which companies are developing low-carbon revenue streams by investing in renewables; whether (or not) they’re expanding their fossil-fuel operations; and how threatened their current business is to the potential decline in oil demand.

EOG, the largest shale-focused independent oil company, scored the worst, partly because pure exploration and production companies face more transition risk, according to BNEF. Integrated companies tend to have stronger financial positions and a greater variety of skills that enable them to invest in and develop low-carbon businesses.

Investment in scalable, low-carbon business models is the most important part of BNEF’s score, said Jonas Rooze, BNEF’s head of sustainability research. “EOG is doing nothing in areas like clean energy, hydrogen or carbon capture, as far as we can tell,” Rooze said. The company has poor scores on all its transition activities, he said.

In response to the BNEF assessment, Houston-based EOG said its long-term strategic planning process involves an analysis of “market forces that present risks and opportunities to our business plans and strategy.” The company said it has set up the EOG Sustainable Power Group to identify and implement low-emissions electricity generation to reduce its “carbon footprint with favorable economics,” including the recent startup of an eight-megawatt solar and natural gas hybrid electric power station.

A roughneck uses a power washer to clean the drilling floor of a rig drilling for Chevron Corp. in the Permian Basin near Midland, Texas.
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Chevron Corp. is in the best position relative to its biggest U.S. competitors, such as Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips and Occidental Petroleum Corp., according to the study. The company is exploring renewables, electric-vehicle charging and battery systems, and making some clean-energy acquisitions. Its activities in carbon capture and storage in particular rival the best in the world, Rooze said. Last week, Chevron said it’s investing in a California startup that captures carbon dioxide from factories and then converts the greenhouse gas into gravel and other building materials.

Chevron still lags far behind European rivals, including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SE and Equinor ASA, in most other investment areas, Rooze said. Where Chevron is installing dozens of megawatts of renewables or EV charging points, the European companies are installing hundreds or even thousands in some cases, he said.

BloombergNEF is working with Bloomberg Intelligence (BI), both of which are research centers within Bloomberg LP, on climate transition scores for 39 major oil and gas companies. The scores are designed for investors to identify companies most threatened by accelerating global climate action and technological transformation, and to understand the material transition factors affecting the industry.