ConocoPhillips on Friday became the first US oil major to suggest it could back a United Nations climate change agreement, according to Reuters.
Any such deal would be predicated on the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit the global temperature increase to 2 °C above pre-industrial levels.
Implicit in those targets would have to be a reduction in the extraction, production and use of fossil fuels, much of it coming from offshore drilling.
That is something no American major oil firm has agreed to yet. In contrast several European producers have shown themselves willing to move in that direction.
Houston-based Conoco are only tentatively in, however, as their Friday comment gave a theoretical conditional backing to a deal only if it met certain of Conoco’s policy principles.
Conoco, the world’s biggest exploration and production company, issued the statement in order to expound on an answer it gave a few days previously to a survey question about the UN proposal.
Chief among Conoco’s qualifying conditions for such support, however, is a commitment to creating a level playing among energy sources and between countries.
In recent months Conoco has been making huge cuts to its operations in response to the plunge in the price of oil, a 50% drop in a year.