Oil is changing. Tight shale oil, oil sands, heavy oils, ultra-deep oils, depleting oils, oil shale, and an expanding array of hydrocarbons are vying for market share. Consumers may not notice the transformation—aside from recent price fluctuations, little appears to have changed at the gas pump. But behind-the-scenes, the oils themselves, how they are extracted and processed, and the products into which they are made, are shifting in substantial ways.

These changes raise important questions: What are the characteristics and properties of these oils? How do they compare to one another in terms of their climate impacts?

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Stanford University, and the University of Calgary have developed the first-of-its-kind Oil-Climate Index, modeling these complex interactions. This data will shape how consumers, investors, industries, NGOs, and policymakers approach current and future oil production, refining, and consumption.

Carnegie hosted the Oil-Climate Index release event on March 11.

William J. Burns

William J. Burns is president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He previously served as U.S. deputy secretary of state.

Deborah Gordon

Deborah Gordon is director of Carnegie’s Energy and Climate Program, where her research focuses on oil and climate change issues in North America and globally.

Jonathan Koomey

Jonathan Koomey is a researcher, author, lecturer, and entrepreneur whose work spans climate solutions, critical thinking skills, and the energy and environmental effects of information technology.

Adam Brandt

Adam Brandt is an assistant professor at Stanford University. He is interested in reducing the environmental impacts of energy systems.

Joule Bergerson

Joule Bergerson is an assistant professor at the University of Calgary. Her primary research interests are systems-level analysis for policy and decision making of energy system investment and management.

Rob Barnett

Rob Barnett is an energy policy analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. He specializes in energy sector economics, environmental policy and strategy, and Washington's impact on the energy sector.

David Livingston

David Livingston is an associate in Carnegie’s Energy and Climate Program, where his research focuses on trade, markets, and risk.