Santos (ASX:STO) boss says investors and banks are ditching fossil fuels

Santos managing director will reportedly tell a conference today that key players are turning their backs on fossil fuels.

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The Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) share price is steady today amid reports the oil and gas producer’s managing director is set to tell an industry conference that investors and lenders are turning away from fossil fuels.

Despite the apparent negative sentiments of its managing director, shares in Santos have gained 13% since the start of June.

However, the Santos share price is see-sawing today. At the time of writing, it’s 0.2% lower than its previous close. Shares in the company are currently swapping hands for $7.66.

Climate worries

According to reports in The Age and The Australian, Santos managing director Kevin Gallagher will tell the annual oil and gas industry (APPEA) conference that investors and lenders have “turned off the taps” on western fossil fuel companies.

It’s reported he’ll argue the decreasing financial support may leave the Australian industry facing global competition.

The Australian quoted Gallagher’s not-yet-delivered conference speech:

Equity investors have turned off the taps… Increasing environment, social and governance pressure has restricted access to capital, with banks increasingly under pressure to not fund projects in our sector. As a result, we are seeing national oil companies stepping up with more investment because demand for oil and gas is not disappearing…

Russia, Qatar and [Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries] producers know that the developed world will find it increasingly difficult to develop new oil and gas reserves. And they know that demand for oil and gas is not going to decline as fast as the world might want.

Both Santos and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) are facing increasing pressure over their plans to develop offshore oil rigs.

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility criticised Santos last month. The company is currently developing the Barossa liquid natural gas (LNG) project off the coast of Darwin.  

The director of climate and environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, Dan Gocher, said:

Institutional investors are demanding credible transition plans. Santos continues to fail on this measure.

As The Motley Fool Australia reported last week, the Conservation Council of Western Australia has also been scathing in its criticism of Woodside and BHP’s joint Scarborough project off the coast of Exmouth.

Santos share price snapshot

Despite today’s rocky performance, the Santos share price has been performing well on the ASX lately.

Currently, the Santos share price is around 19% higher than it was at the start of the year. It’s also gained around 47.4% since this time last year.

The oil and gas producer has a market capitalisation of around $15.9 billion, with approximately 2 billion shares outstanding.

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The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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