Climate change is a significant global issue that poses the challenge of meeting growing energy demands while ensuring supply is sustainable and affordable. No single sector or technology can tackle this complex issue alone. It requires a coordinated approach by companies, governments and communities.

We believe that all energy sources have a role to play in meeting global energy demand, and each has its own positives and challenges. The consensus of multiple scenarios is that oil and gas will continue to have a major role to play, and that natural gas will be pivotal in the transition to a low-emission energy system.

We support efforts to move towards implementing an effective global climate agreement and advocate for governments to establish a clear, stable policy framework that supports a global warming trajectory of 2°C. This will help the energy industry make informed decisions and effective and meaningful contributions to address climate change. Market mechanisms such as an emissions trading scheme or other carbon-pricing mechanism are an efficient response, and we support these and other measures that improve certainty.

Oil Search supports programmes aimed at strengthening community resilience and has partnered with PNG’s Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA).


In 2018, we released our Climate Change Resilience Report, which is aligned with the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TFCD). We have provided a TCFD reference guide at the back of the Report and will continue to evolve our disclosures as we consult with our stakeholders.

Climate Change Strategy

As an oil and gas company, Oil Search recognises it is impossible to decouple climate change from our Corporate Strategy: the two must be fully integrated.

Oil Search’s Corporate Strategy is focused on having a globally competitive energy portfolio that is sustainable over the long term. The Corporate Strategy is refreshed periodically through our integrated planning framework process, which produces updated strategic objectives approximately every three years.

Reflecting on climate risks, global climate policy trends and the climate scenario analysis has reinforced Oil Search’s Corporate Strategy of focusing on a globally competitive energy portfolio that is sustainable over the long-term.

The Climate Change Strategy is consistent with our Climate Policy and aligns with our Social Responsibility Policy and strategies. It helps to ensure the Company is prepared for future carbon constraints and that we understand the potential risks and impacts to our business.

We designed our Climate Change Strategy to operationalise our corporate climate commitments to embed climate risk into our decision-making, strategy development and risk management practices.

Given rapidly changing stakeholder expectations and changes to technology and government policies, we expect our Climate Change Strategy to continue to evolve and to be regularly updated.

How our Climate Change Strategy aligns with Corporate Objectives
Reduce RiskEnhance ValueResponsible Operator
Internal carbon price for investment and design decisionsEmbed findings of climate scenario analysis into Corporate StrategyAssist PNG to meet its climate and development objectives
Incorporate climate risk into strategy and decision-making processesInclude climate performance Key Performance Indicators as a component in management Short-term IncentivesReduce emission intensity of our portfolio  
Conduct physical climate risk assessmentsInvestigate renewable power opportunities in PNG
Support host government efforts to establish policy frameworks for 2°C.

Support local communities in building resilience to physical climate change impact.

Oil Search's Climate Change Resilience Report provides detailed information on how this Strategy is operationalised including climate metrics and targets, climate adaptation impacts, how we assist PNG to meet its climate development objectives and our engagement on climate policy. The Report also includes detailed climate scenario analysis, which indicates long-term resilience and continued economic value generation for Oil Search in a range of decarbonisation scenarios, including a 2oC pathway.

Climate governance

The Oil Search Board overseas our climate risk management and its potential to influence and inform our Corporate Strategy and decision-making. Our Board HSS Committee oversees the Company’s strategies, processes and performance relating to health, safety, security and social responsibility, including climate change. The Board HSSC endorses our Climate Change Strategy and governs the management of the risks and opportunities posed by climate change to our assets.

The Executive Leadership Team (ELT) establishes the structures, reporting lines, and responsibilities to oversee the management of our key risks, including climate change. Oil Search’s business units are accountable for managing these risks.

ELT members are financially incentivised to manage longer-term risks that could impact on the value of the Company, including climate risk, through the at-risk component of executive remuneration. A component of the Short-term Incentive (STI) scheme is linked to the use of our internal carbon price.

Executives also participate in a long-term incentive (LTI) plan, with payments linked to the relative shareholder returns generated by the Company compared to a global peer group of oil and gas companies and to the 50 largest companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. Failure to effectively address climate risk would be expected to translate into relative under-performance in terms of creating long-term, sustainable shareholder value and would impact LTI benefits.

Climate risks and opportunities

Oil Search’s corporate risk management process aims to ensure we have appropriate strategies for managing key risks to our objectives. Climate risks are assessed at least quarterly as part of our corporate risk management process and reviewed annually during broader strategic planning and decision-making processes. We regularly monitor and assess transitional climate risks and broader societal trends and issues through our scenario analysis and strategy planning processes. Climate risks are also assessed during the Company’s regular Board-led strategic reviews.

Our material corporate climate risks and controls include:

Risk typeRisk descriptionTime horizonControls
Transition riskChanges in demand for our products due to emission reduction policies or technological changes.Long-termClimate scenario analysis
Operating costsIncrease in operating costs of our long-life assets due to carbon pricing policies or other market mechanisms or regulations.Medium and long-termInternal carbon price
Reputation riskReputational impacts, driven by stakeholder activism and increasing societal expectations that negatively impact our social licence to operate.Short, medium and long-term

Enhanced disclosure in line with TCFD recommendations.

Monitoring changing expectations

Physical riskPhysical impact of climate on our assets and on the communities where we operate.Long-term
Physical climate risk assessment

Detailed discussion of the Company’s climate risks and opportunities can be found in the Oil Search Climate Change Resilience Report. A summary of this information can be found on our Climate Change Fact Sheet.

Emissions performance

We report our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions performance in our annual Social Responsibility Report and Data Centre.