Inmarsat: oil, gas firms share ESG data with investors more than other sectors

World Oil Staff April 06, 2023

(WO) – New data shows oil and gas firms are more willing to share ESG data with investors than any other commercial land-based industry, in the face of mounting pressure from investors to prove they are working to tackle climate change.

According to a recent study by Inmarsat, a world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, 35% of oil and gas firms are currently using internal environmental, social and governance-focused (ESG) data to proactively engage with investors on the topic of sustainability. This puts them ahead of all other industries surveyed, including transport (32%), mining (31%), utilities (25%), and agriculture (23%).

The insight comes when the sector is struggling to recruit new investors and facing additional scrutiny on reaching sustainability targets. In the U.S., for example, the wider energy sector is attracting roughly half the VC investment compared with industries like businesses services, health and life sciences, and information technology.

Lack of real-time measurement presents a barrier to progress

Despite a willingness to engage on ESG data, a significant proportion of oil and gas businesses report they are still struggling to measure tangible outcomes.

Half of those surveyed think it is difficult to measure progress against environment-focused metrics, while around two in five feel the same when it comes to social (43%) and corporate governance (39%) measurement.

Businesses also believe they could better measure and understand their progress through improved use of data and technology. More than half (51%) think granular, real-time data would help more accurately measure progress, while 47% feel automation and digitalization of the data capture process is needed.

Satellite-enabled IoT providing a solution

The majority of oil and gas firms say connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices are the key to enabling better use of data to understand sustainability progress. More than three quarters plan to increase their use of IoT solutions to more accurately measure and understand the impact of their sustainability initiatives over the next 12 months, while 81% believe those tools are critical to improving sustainability.

The expected uptick in IoT usage across oil and gas firms could have a significant impact on broader sustainability outcomes, especially given the importance of the industry in the transition to a low-carbon future.

However, in order to get the most from these solutions – particularly for those based in remote, rural locations – satellite connectivity is essential. Networks such as Inmarsat’s ELERA can provide ultra-reliable global connectivity to support IoT-based data collection, analytics and reporting, and enable businesses to accurately measure and communicate progress more efficiently. 

The sector is in agreement as almost all (92%) believe satellite connectivity is key to improving the effectiveness of IoT solutions focused on improving business sustainability. Just over half expect to be leveraging these networks over the next 10 or more years.

Damian Lewis, Market Development, Commercial and Digital Solutions, Inmarsat, said “Oil and gas companies hold the power to enable a faster energy transition. They can help reduce emissions at pace through their own process improvements, as well as supporting renewables and accelerating electrification.”

“Given the widespread influence of the sector, it is encouraging to see the sector responding to ongoing pressure and be willing to share data to prove their sustainability credentials.”

“With oil and gas set to play a pivotal role in achieving Net Zero, the potential longer term impact of satellite-connected IoT devices is immense. IoT solutions can play a central role in helping firms improve legacy business processes, reduce their environmental impact, and back their claims up with real data.”

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