The energy transition has become a permanent topic in every energy-related event, but it is only one part of the conversation, according to Sonangol Chief Executive Sebastiao Gaspar Martins.

“We share the same concerns of climate change and the need to move towards a cleaner energy," he said at the 23rd World Petroleum Congress on Tuesday in Houston.

"However, despite its importance, we believe that we cannot address energy transition, without first and foremost tackling the issue of the energy poverty.”

Martins called for a close collaboration among all stakeholders to balance the reduction of the carbon emissions and production of cleaner energy that is affordable to everybody.

“It's imperative that all developing countries be in a very straight collaboration so that we all understand each other and what the needs are of each involved,” he said.

Sonangol, for example, is currently transitioning to a national energy company that is strongly committed to sustainability.

“We have integrated our activities. The new business unit for gas and renewable energies is engaged in several concrete projects from solar to biofuels, green, hydrogen, and other renewable sources of energy, for which we are investing over $100 million in 2022,” he said.

The company plans to invest about $7 billion over the next five years in exploration and production projects, while also investing in its domestic refining capacity to bring additional capacity up to around 425,000 barrels per day of oil, he noted.

Sergio Affronti, Chief Executive of Argentina’s YPF, said he believes the market for the efficient, low-carbon, profitable development of oil and gas will continue.

“The imperative of climate change calls us all to action as a responsible energy business. We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and becoming more sustainable, while advancing new low-carbon technologies,” he told plenary attendees.

According to Affronti, YPF’s strategy has two main pillars: low-carbon barrels and a $1 billion investment in refineries to reduce sulphur in its fuels while optimising ethanol in the fuel mix.

“We’re making our oil and gas activities more sustainable by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We already reached a 2023 target of a 10% reduction versus 2017, and we are working on new more ambitious goals,” he said.

The definition of a successfully responsible business is multi-faceted, according to Weatherford International Chief Executive Girish Saligram.

“The definition depends on the stakeholder,” he told plenary attendees, adding that customers want performance, investors want returns and the community wants sustainability.

Weatherford defines its pillars for success on sustainability, Saligram said.

“The first is around transparency of reporting. It's important for us that we are clear about the metrics and the targets that we set, but also where we are in our journey of achieving them,” he said.

“The second is taking a hard look at our own operations, understanding our carbon footprint and figuring out how do we make an impact on decarbonising in that sphere.”

For sustainable solutions, the company has three platforms: carbon capture and sequestration, geothermal, and plugging and abandonment of mature wells.