Endowment Investments in Fossil Fuels, Updated

One of our alumni approached Divest Carleton about providing a more specific description of the companies in which Carleton is invested.  (See our August 2014 posting on this subject.)  We’d like to thank and acknowledge the effort of Roy Luck (’93) for his expertise and assistance in writing these company descriptions.

Company Descriptions of the 8 Companies in Carleton‘s Direct Holdings Portfolio:

Noble Energy (http://investors.nobleenergyinc.com/): Market Capitalization: $20 billion.Headquarters: Houston, TX. Description: Noble is a major independent oil and gas company – meaning that they produce oil and gas and market their product to refiners, utilities and ‘midstream’ pipeline companies – with production from the deep water Gulf of Mexico, as well as production from fracking the Niobrara Formation in NE Colorado (oil) and the Marcellus Shale (gas and oil) of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Internationally, Noble has production in West Africa, as well as a major gas field offshore of Israel, which is currently in development.

Imperial Gas (http://www.imperialoil.ca/Canada-English/about_investors.aspx): Market Capitalization: $41 billion. Headquarters: Calgary AB. Description: Imperial is the second largest oil company and largest refiner in Canada. It is 70% owned by Exxon as of 2012. Imperial is best known for its holdings in the Alberta tar sands (where it produces bitumen), including the Cold Lake steamflood project and the Kearl Lake oil sand mining project. It is the only integrated company on the list – meaning that they produce, refine and market manufactured goods such as fuels and petrochemicals.
Devon Energy (http://investors.devonenergy.com/investors/default.aspx): Market Capitalization: $26 billion. Headquarters: Oklahoma City, OK. Description: is a major American independent oil and gas company. Devon are active in fracking for the exploration and production of oil, natural gas and liquid natural gas (LNG). These fields include the Barnett Shale (TX gas), the Eagle Ford Shale (TX oil/gas) and the Permian Basin (TX oil). In 2001 Devon acquired Mitchell Energy, who pioneered hydraulic fracturing in the Barnett Shale – the first major ‘unconventional’ reservoir in the United States. Devon is also active in the Alberta Oil Sands, where it produces bitumen.
Consol Energy (http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=66439&p=irol-irhome): Market Capitalization: $9 billion. Headquarters: Pittsburgh, PA. Description: Consol is a fossil fuels company and the US’s largest underground coal company. Their operations are focused primarily on Appalachia. Consol has extensive mining operations for thermal coal, and is the largest underground coal miner in the United States. In the last decade, Consol have diversified into natural gas and accumulated a large acreage position in the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shales of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
British Gas Group (http://www.bg-group.com/17/investors/): Market Capitalization: $30 billion. Headquarters: Reading, UK. Description: BG is an international oil and gas company with assets in 25 countries, including Kazakhstan, Australia and the United States (gas production from fracking in the Haynesville Shale of LA and the Marcellus Shale in Appalachia). BG Group are a major LNG exporter from Trinidad & Tobago and Egypt, and they are an active explorer offshore East Africa. In recent years, British Gas have partnered with Brazilian state-controlled company Petrobras to develop offshore subsalt oil deposits in the Santos Basin offshore Brazil, in deep water. Petrobras, which is primarily owned by the Brazilian government, has been highly politicized and controversial in regards to regulatory oversight.
SASOL NVP (South African Synthetic Oil Ltd.; http://www.sasol.com/investor-centre/overview): Market Capitalization: $30 billion. Headquarters: Johannesburg, South Africa. Description: Sasol is a petrochemical company that is best known for synthesizing diesel and petrochemicals from natural gas and coal. They are the only company on this list that is not primarily an energy producer. In Southern Africa, Sasol have have significant coal production in South Africa and gas production in Mozambique; elsewhere they purchase supplies for processing. Sasol have operated gas-to-liquids projects in Nigeria and Qatar, and are currently building a large petrochemical plant in Lake Charles LA. (Gas-to-liquids projects are favorable for companies like Sasol when there is a large differential between the values of oil and gas, as exists now.)
Occidental Petroleum (http://www.oxy.com/Investors/Pages/default.aspx): Market Capitalization: $67 billion. Headquarters: Houston TX. Description: Occidental (or OXY) is and oil, gas, and chemicals company that specializes in “hard-to-recover” reserves. Oxy have extensive acreage in the Permian Basin of W. Texas and New Mexico, and international ventures in the Middle East (predominantly Oman and the United Arab Emirates). OXY have long been recognized for their ability to extract oil out of old fields using enhanced recovery (EOR) techniques such as waterflooding and CO2 injection, as well as steamflooding in heavy oil fields. OXY are now investing heavily in fracking in the Permian Basin, and announced plans to spin off their considerable assets in California as a separate company (California Resources Corp.).
Anadarko (http://www.anadarko.com/Investor/Pages/Overview.aspx): Market Capitalization: $45 billion. Headquarters: The Woodlands, TX. Description: Anadarko is the second-largest US-based independent oil and gas producer in terms of production, surpassed only by ConocoPhillips. Anadarko is a major onshore producer engaged in fracking in the Marcellus Shale, the Niobrara Formation of NE Colorado, and the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin in Texas. Anadarko is also the largest independent operator in the deep water Gulf of Mexico, and has extensive holdings in Algeria and Mozambique – where the company and partners have proposed an LNG export facility.

There are nuances here.   But however the fuels are extracted and by whom, the fact remains that they are extracted, and will contribute to the CO2 levels causing climate change.