The world’s seven largest investor-owned oil and gas companies didn’t find replacement reserves for all the energy they produced last year.
The shortfall is significant because oil and gas companies are valued by investors largely based on their inventory of reserves. If reserves fall, share prices often follow.
On average, the oil ‘super majors’ replaced only 75% of the energy they pumped, Oil Price reports, citing the Wall Street Journal. ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company, replaced barely two-thirds of what it produced in 2015 with new reserves.
Bad news for fossils could be good for the climate, however. A number of analyses have found that around two-thirds of the world’s known reserves of fossil energy must stay in the ground to avert runaway climate change.