JOURNAL: Unfolding low-carbon reorientation in a declining industry: A contextual analysis of changing company strategies in UK oil refining (1990–2023)

Summary

Authors:

Julian Gregory
Frank W. Geels

University of Manchester

Unfolding low-carbon reorientation in a declining industry: A contextual analysis of changing company strategies in UK oil refining (1990–2023)

Energy Research & Social Science

January 2024

This study explores the practical implementation of low-carbon technologies in the UK’s refining industry from 1990 to 2023, analysing changing external pressures and company response strategies amid the rise of climate change awareness in socio-political agendas. This analysis reveals a non-linear reorientation trajectory. The industry shifted from inaction and incremental change to exploration of alternatives, and back to incremental change until eventually exploring and finally deploying low-carbon technologies like carbon capture and storage (CCS) and low-carbon hydrogen. This paper provides valuable insights into the contextual and strategic aspects influencing refineries’ decisions in adopting of low-carbon transition pathways.