Surely what the oil companies need to do is to adapt their technology and infrastructure to meet the demand for carbon neutral or carbon minimal liquid fuel? The connection everyone is missing is provided by the Nobel Prize winning chemist George Olah.
Olah has developed technologies for making liquid fuel from carbon dioxide. In the first place this uses cheap geothermal electricity in Iceland to produce hydrogen from water which is then used to reduce carbon dioxide effluent from industrial plants to hydrocarbon fuel and chemical feedstocks, usually methanol. In future, other ways of doing this, especially solar energy will come on stream. And, eventually, the goal is to take carbon dioxide from the air. But meanwhile there is all that carbon spewing from power stations. Why bury it expensively and uselessly in the ground when you can make liquid fuel from it? We will always need some liquid fuel and chemical feedstocks. Liquid fuel means that the petrochemicals plants and distribution networks will not suddenly be worthless as in the “Keep it in the Ground” scenario. A transition is necessary and possible, thanks to George Olah. Let’s do it.
You can read more about Olah’s technique in the book I wrote with Tom Grimsey, Nanoscience: Giants of the Infinitesimal (Papadakis).