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Are Big Tech Companies into Oil Business?

27-Jan-2020

By Aayushree Sapkota

Source: Medium

We might have heard about big tech companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft and their efforts to reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuel. However, upon a closer look,the whole story seems a little bit fishy.

Big Tech and Big Oil have one thing in common, Big Business. And the ultimate goal of big business is to make big profits. This means that despite every outspoken support for making the earth clean and green, the big tech companies are teaming up with oil businesses to make the extraction of fossil fuel easier and faster.

Oil has been hard to find and even harder to extract. Over and over again, experts have predicted that we’ll soon run out of accessible, affordable oil but so far they’ve been wrong. The reason is, just when things look bleakest for black gold, new technology swoops in to keep the industry afloat. In 2017, Google found out that the same Artificial Intelligence which has helped to reduce the total energy  use can also be used to automate another task such as fossil fuel discovery and extraction. In 2018 alone, the oil and gas industries spent an estimated $1.75 billion on AI, the sum is projected to rise to $4 billion by 2025. Total, one of the largest oil companies, has signed a deal with Google to develop AI that will help with oil and gas production. Amazon and Microsoft are yet another case in point. AP reports that Amazon works with BP and Shell and wants to work with more oil and gas companies to offer tech to help find drillable oil faster.

Currently, the world relies on fossil fuels for 85% of its energy needs. If the oil and gas industries were to completely convert to sustainable energy and invest those billions of dollars in profits towards green energy, then we wouldn’t require finding new ways of extracting oil quicker. Tesla on the  other hand is investing a huge amount of money in creating alternative ways of green energy. There is so much potential in wind energy, solar and electric batteries. If Tesla can do it, why can’t others?

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