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Vulnerability of the Oil and Gas Sector to Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events

A changing climate and more frequent extreme weather events pose challenges to the oil and gas sector. Identifying how these changes will affect oil and gas extraction, transportation, processing, and delivery, and how these industries can adapt to or mitigate any adverse impacts will be vital to this sector’s supply security. This work presents an overview of the sector’s vulnerability to a changing climate. It addresses the potential for Natech hazards and proposes risk reduction measures, including mitigation and adaptation options. Assessment frameworks to ensure the safety of people, the environment, and investments in the oil and gas sector in the face of climate change are presented and their limitations discussed. It is argued that a comprehensive and systemic analysis framework for risk assessment is needed. The paper concludes that climate change and extreme weather events represent a real physical threat to the oil and gas sector, particularly in low-lying coastal areas and areas exposed to extreme weather events. The sector needs to take climate change seriously, assess its own vulnerability, and take appropriate measures to prevent or mitigate any potentially negative effects.