Anti-tar sands campaigns have cost the industry a staggering $17bn (£11bn) in lost revenues, and helped to push it onto the backfoot, according to a study by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), and Oil Change International.
Another $13.8bn has been lost to transportation bottlenecks and the flood of cheap crude coming from shale oil fields, says the Material Risks report, which presents the first quantification of the impact that environmental campaigners have had on the unconventional energy business.
“Industry officials never anticipated the level and intensity of public opposition to their massive build-out plans,” said Steve Kretzmann, Oil Change International’s executive director. “Legal and other challenges are raising new issues related to environmental protection, indigenous rights and the disruptive impact of new pipeline proposals. Business as usual for Big Oil – particularly in the tar sands – is over.”