Oil is changing. Conventional oil resources are dwindling as tight oil, oil sands, heavy oils, and others emerge. Technological advances mean that these unconventional hydrocarbon deposits in once-unreachable areas are now viable resources. Meanwhile, scientific evidence is mounting that climate change is occurring, but the climate impacts of these new oils are not well understood. The Carnegie Endowment's Energy and Climate Program, Stanford University, and the University of Calgary have developed a first-of-itskind Oil-Climate Index (OCI) to compare these resources.
The Oil-Climate Index (OCI) is a metric that takes into account the total life-cycle Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions of individual oils -- from upstream extraction to midstream refining to downstream end use. It offers a powerful, yet user-friendly, tool that allows investors, policymakers, industry, the public, and other stakeholders to compare crudes and assess their climate consequences both before development decisions are made as well as once operations are in progress. The Oil-Climate Index will also inform oil and climate policy making.