सीधे मुख्य सामग्री पर जाएं

The 2023 global oil & gas exit list: Building a bridge to climate chaos

By Nils Bartsch*, Dr. Ognyan Seizov** 
Urgewald and more than 50 partners have published the second update of the Global Oil & Gas Exit List (GOGEL). (Click here for the first list.) GOGEL is a public database that provides a detailed breakdown of the activities of oil and gas companies worldwide. It covers 1,623 companies active in the upstream, midstream or gas-fired power sector. Companies listed on GOGEL account for 95% of global oil and gas production.
The 2023 GOGEL can be downloaded at www.gogel.org.
In the midst of the climate crisis, 96% of the 700 upstream companies on GOGEL are still exploring or developing new oil and gas fields. And 1,023 companies are planning new LNG terminals, pipelines or gas-fired power plants. “The magnitude of the industry’s expansion plans is truly frightening. To keep 1.5 °C alive, a speedy, managed decline in both oil and gas production is vital. Instead, oil and gas companies are building a bridge to climate chaos,” says Nils Bartsch, Head of Oil & Gas Research at Urgewald.

Where it all starts: Exploration

According to the 1.5 °C roadmap issued by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2021, exploration for new oil and gas reserves is no longer required and delays the energy transition.[1] Since 2021, the industry’s annual capital expenditure on oil and gas exploration has, however, risen by more than 30%. Over the past 3 years, oil and gas companies in our database spent a total of US$ 170.4 billion on exploring for new oil and gas reserves that we cannot afford to burn.
GOGEL lists 384 companies whose average capital expenditure on exploration exceeded US$ 10 million between 2021 and 2023. The top 7 exploration companies are China National Petroleum Corporation – CNPC (US$ 5.9 billion), CNOOC (US$ 3.2 billion), Saudi Aramco (US$ 2.8 billion), Pemex (US$ 2.6 billion), Sinopec Group (US$ 2.4 billion), Pioneer Natural Resources (US$ 2.1 billion) and Shell (US$ 2.0 billion).

Reckless expansion upstream

According to GOGEL, 539 companies are preparing to bring 230 billion barrels of oil equivalent (bboe) of untapped oil and gas resources into production.[2] These short-term expansion plans severely jeopardize efforts to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 °C. Latest findings show that even if all coal extraction would magically end overnight, we would still need to leave almost 20% of oil and gas resources in approved and producing fields in the ground to remain within the carbon budget for 1.5 °C.[3]
The 7 companies with the largest short-term expansion plans are Saudi Aramco (16.8 bboe), QatarEnergy (16.5 bboe), Gazprom (10.7 bboe), Petrobras (9.6 bboe), ADNOC (9.0 bboe), TotalEnergies (8.0 bboe) and ExxonMobil (7.9 bboe). These 7 companies are responsible for one-third of global short-term oil and gas expansion.

Expansion in ‘frontier’ countries: How global players create new fossil dependencies

Companies on GOGEL are exploring or developing new oil and gas resources in 129 countries. TotalEnergies (53 countries) tops the list of companies expanding in the highest number of countries, followed by Shell (41 countries), Eni (40 countries), ExxonMobil (39 countries), BP (29 countries), Petronas (27 countries) and Chevron and Repsol (25 countries each). Almost one-third of the countries where TotalEnergies is exploring and developing new oil and gas resources are frontier countries such as South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique or Papua New Guinea. These countries currently have little or no oil and gas production.[4] Instead of transitioning, oil and gas majors are driving new countries into fossil fuel dependency.
“Oil and gas companies like TotalEnergies, Shell, and their local partners are spending billions of dollars to lock African countries into a fossil gas future. Gas is not a viable energy option for Africa. It is dirty, expensive and most new projects will take 5 – 7 years to build before they can make any contribution to energy security. What we need is a just transition to affordable and renewable energy for all,” says Leanne Govindsamy from the South African NGO Centre for Environmental Rights.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company on a collision course with 1.5 °C

GOGEL allows users to assess whether a company’s activities are in line with the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) roadmap to net zero by 2050. For each upstream oil and gas company, GOGEL portrays which portion of its short-term expansion overshoots the IEA pathway.[5] With 8.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent (bboe), the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has the highest absolute overshoot of any company in the world. While ADNOC’s CEO Sultan Al Jaber is in the driver’s seat of this year’s climate summit, his company is on a clear collision course with the 1.5 °C goal.
Only weeks before Sultan Al Jaber opens the COP28 proceedings in Dubai, ADNOC announced a final investment decision for its enormous Hail and Ghasha gas project. The Hail and Ghasha project is situated in the Marawah Biosphere Reserve which harbors many endangered species and is the largest marine reserve in the Arabian Gulf.
ADNOC claims this will be the world’s first “net-zero emissions” gas project as it aims to capture 1.5 million tons of CO2 annually. However, this commitment is dwarfed by the expected annual greenhouse gas emissions from burning the gas from the Ghasha gas concession, which Hail and Ghasha is a part of. Burning the gas ADNOC intends to produce would emit more than 20 times as much CO2 as the company aims to capture.[6] In addition, methane will escape all along the supply chain as the gas makes its way to end users. Methane has a warming effect more than 86 times stronger than CO2over a 20-year period.[7] ADNOC conveniently leaves all these emissions out of its net-zero equation. It also remains to be seen whether ADNOC will indeed capture and store the carbon it has promised. Even the technology-optimistic IEA recognizes that the history of carbon capture and storage “has largely been one of unmet expectations.”[8]

New LNG export infrastructure supercharges gas expansion

The 2023 GOGEL covers all companies that are developing new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, and it provides disaggregated data for the expansion of LNG export and import capacities.[9] According to the database, companies are planning to increase global LNG export capacity by 162%.[10] New LNG export terminals are key drivers of large-scale gas extraction in countries like the US, Qatar, or Mozambique. The 7 largest LNG export capacity developers on GOGEL are: Venture Global LNG (71.1 million tonnes per year (Mtpa), NOVATEK (58.2 Mtpa), QatarEnergy (46.5 Mtpa), Sempra Energy (29.4 Mtpa), Tellurian (27.6 Mtpa), Shell (25.2 Mtpa) and Cheniere Energy (22.8 Mtpa).

US LNG projects and the fracking boom

The US first began exporting LNG in 2016, the year after the Paris Climate Agreement was signed.[11] Today, the Gulf Coast of the US is cementing its position as the world’s largest export hub for LNG. The 21 new LNG export facilities planned along the Gulf Coast account for 41% of global LNG export expansion listed on GOGEL. Most of the fossil gas that will be exported from these terminals stems from the Permian Basin, the heart of the US fracking industry. GOGEL lists 76 companies that are active in the Permian Basin.
While fracking is banned in many countries, 88% of fossil gas produced in the US is fracked.[12] Companies like Chevron, ConocoPhillips or EOG Resources pump vast amounts of water, sand and chemicals into the ground to extract hydrocarbons trapped in shale rock formations. Fracking operations leave a trail of destroyed landscapes, contaminated water, polluted air and severe health impacts, especially for children.[13],[14] In addition, the energy-intensive liquefaction process and the risk of methane leaks all along the supply chain make LNG from the US particularly harmful to the climate.[15],[16]
Communities along the Gulf Coast are fighting each and every one of the proposed LNG export terminals. As Rebekah Hinojosa, a member of the South Texas Environmental Justice Network, says, “The fossil fuel industry wants to pave undeveloped wetlands all along the coast with LNG facilities like NextDecade Corporation’s Rio Grande LNG Terminal. Besides their environmental implications, these plans violate Indigenous sacred lands, and people working in fishing, shrimping and eco-tourism risk losing their jobs. Our communities refuse to be sacrificed for the fracking industry’s dirty gas exports.”

Gas-fired power build-out will blow our carbon budget

The 2023 GOGEL – for the first time – provides data on companies’ gas-fired power expansion plans. In total, GOGEL identifies 651 companies that are planning to develop an additional 567 gigawatt (GW) of gas-fired power capacity in the midst of the escalating climate crisis. If built, these projects would increase the world’s installed gas-fired capacity by 30%.[17] A substantial part of the global gas-fired power build-out would rely on imported LNG. “The industry likes to frame fossil gas as the cleaner successor to coal and a bridge fuel for the energy transition. This is a flawed fossil fantasy. If life cycle emissions are properly factored in, fossil gas can be just as harmful to the climate as coal,” explains Bartsch.[18]
The IEA’s projections show that in a 1.5 °C-aligned world, the contribution of unabated natural gas to the energy mix must fall from today's 22% to 6% by 2035. Instead of building new gas plants, this would require the retirement of 82 GW of installed gas-fired capacity by 2035.[19] The combined expansion plans of the 7 largest gas power developers on GOGEL alone amount to 86 GW: Korea Electric Power Corporation – KEPCO (17.2 GW), Bangladesh Power Development Board (16.9 GW), Taipower (14.9 GW), Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) (9.9 GW), China Huaneng Group (9.5 GW), China Huadian Corporation (9.3 GW) and Comisión Federal de Electricidad EPE – CFE (8.3 GW)

KEPCO: The world’s largest gas-fired power developer

South Korea’s state-owned KEPCO owns more than 70% of the country’s operating power generation capacity.[20] At the end of 2022, renewables constituted only 2% of KEPCO’s installed power portfolio. While the company’s renewable expansion plans remain vague, plans to add new fossil gas generation capacity to its portfolio are in full swing.[21] With over 17 GW in the pipeline, KEPCO is the world’s largest gas-fired power developer. Out of this total, 14.9 GW are planned domestically to replace parts of KEPCO's giant coal plant fleet. KEPCO’s other expansion projects are mainly located in Southeast Asia where it is cooperating with KOGAS and local partners to speed up the enormous gas-fired power build-out in the region.
“Renewable energy options are reshaping energy markets all over the world, yet KEPCO refuses to read the writing on the wall. KEPCO’s heavy dependence on fossil fuels has led to ever larger operating losses, but the company continues investing in new stranded assets. KEPCO urgently needs to transition and leave its old business model behind,” says Dongjae Oh, oil and gas campaigner from the South Korean NGO Solutions for our Climate.

Financial institutions: Ending or perpetuating oil and gas expansion?

Expansion is at the core of the oil and gas business model. Before one well runs dry, oil and gas companies are already drilling the next to maintain or even increase their production levels. With every decision to drill a new well, companies are locking us into a path towards disaster. Fossil fuel emissions hit a record high last year, yet oil and gas majors like Shell, TotalEnergies and BP quickly rolled back their already weak climate pledges in 2023 – showing once again that profit goes before planet.[22] The oil and gas industry’s so-called climate action amounts to little more than a competition in dodging accountability, making empty promises and spreading misinformation.
“Financiers and investors need to face the fact that this industry will not transform voluntarily. Private and public financial institutions, insurers, regulators and central banks must adopt policies that end the financing of fossil fuel expansion. GOGEL provides the data needed to develop and implement these policies. Without swift action, the chance for a 1.5 °C world will be irredeemably lost,” says Katrin Ganswindt, Head of Finance Research at Urgewald.
For more details on the investors behind fossil fuel companies, see Urgewald’s database “Investing in Climate Chaos”: https://investinginclimatechaos.org.

About GOGEL

GOGEL is the most comprehensive public database on the oil and gas industry. It was created to speed up the adoption of meaningful oil and gas policies by the financial sector. The 2023 GOGEL provides detailed data on 1,623 companies. It is a forward-looking database and offers a wide range of metrics that allow its users to assess companies’ oil and gas expansion plans in the upstream, midstream and gas power sector.
GOGEL also allows users to identify companies that are not in line with the IEA Net Zero Emissions Scenario. In addition, GOGEL highlights companies’ involvement in selected reputational risk projects that exacerbate violent conflicts, cause immense social and environmental harm or are challenged by lawsuits and local community opposition.
234 financial institutions are currently using GOGEL to scan their portfolios or to develop new exclusion policies. Many academics, journalists and civil society organizations also use GOGEL to assess, scrutinize and better understand the oil and gas industry. GOGEL’s main sources of information are company data sources such as annual reports and investor presentations, Rystad Energy, and Global Energy Monitor. GOGEL is updated each fall and will be expanded over time to cover further subsectors of the oil and gas industry.
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*Management and Campaign Strategy, **International Communications Director, Urgewald
***
Notes
[1] IEA (2021) P.160: https://iea.blob.core.windows.net/assets/deebef5d-0c34-4539-9d0c-10b13d840027/NetZeroby2050-ARoadmapfortheGlobalEnergySector_CORR.pdf
[2] The GOGEL short-term expansion metric includes resources categorized by Rystad Energy as “in field evaluation” and “under development.” Companies will start producing these resources in the near future (next 1 – 7 years).
[3] Sky’s Limit Data Update P.5 https://priceofoil.org/content/uploads/2023/08/skys-limit-data-update-2023-v3.pdf
[4] S&P Global: https://www.spglobal.com/commodityinsights/en/ci/research-analysis/closing-door-or-window-of-opportunity-for-frontiers.html
[5] Based on the original scenario as published in 2021 and updated in 2022, which states that in a 1.5°C world, approval of new oil and gas fields is not needed after 2021: See IEA (2022) P.133: https://iea.blob.core.windows.net/assets/830fe099-5530-48f2-a7c1-11f35d510983/WorldEnergyOutlook2022.pdf
[6] Own calculation based on ADNOC (2023): https://www.adnoc.ae/en/news-and-media/press-releases/2023/adnoc-takes-fid-on-worlds-first-project-that-aims-to-operate-with-net-zero-emissions and IPCC (2006) P.2.16 https://www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/public/2006gl/pdf/2_Volume2/V2_2_Ch2_Stationary_Combustion.pdf
[7] IPCC (2013) P.714: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/anthropogenic-and-natural-radiative-forcing/
[8] IEA (2023) P.132: https://iea.blob.core.windows.net/assets/13dab083-08c3-4dfd-a887-42a3ebe533bc/NetZeroRoadmap_AGlobalPathwaytoKeepthe1.5CGoalinReach-2023Update.pdf
[9] Export capacities refer to liquefaction facilities, import capacities refer to regasification facilities.
[10] Data on operating LNG export capacity retrieved from Global Energy Monitor (GEM), Global Gas Infrastructure Tracker (July 2022): https://globalenergymonitor.org/projects/global-gas-infrastructure-tracker/
[11] https://www.permianclimatebomb.org/chapter-3
[12] Own analysis based on Rystad Energy, October 2023.
[13] https://earthworks.org/issues/hydraulic-fracturing-101/
[14] https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/full/10.1289/EHP11092
[15] https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.aaz5120
[16] https://www.nrdc.org/resources/sailing-nowhere-liquefied-natural-gas-not-effective-climate-strategy
[17] Data on operating gas-fired power capacity retrieved from Global Energy Monitor (GEM), Global Gas Plant Tracker (Feburary 2023): https://globalenergymonitor.org/projects/global-oil-gas-plant-tracker/
[18] Gordon et al. 2023: Evaluating net life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions intensities from gas and coal at varying methane leakage rates
[19] https://www.iea.org/reports/unabated-fossil-fuel-based-electricity
[20] https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/1-company-controls-most-of-south-korea-s-power-generation-supply-69622713
[21] Claims with regard to renewable capacity build out range from an increase to 49 GW installed capacity in 2034 to a very vague ‘more than 1,9 GW’ in 2036 https://home.kepco.co.kr/kepco/cmmn/documentViewer.po?fn=BBS_202303230223427401&rs=/kepco/synap/doc P.6/20
[22] https://www.euronews.com/green/2023/06/15/shell-joins-bp-and-total-in-u-turning-on-climate-pledges-to-reward-shareholders

टिप्पणियाँ

ट्रेंडिंग

हिंदी आलोचना जैसे पिछड़ चुके अनुशासन की जगह हिंदी वैचारिकी का विकास जरूरी

- प्रमोद रंजन*   भारतीय राजनीति में सांप्रदायिक व प्रतिक्रियावादी ताकतों को सत्ता तक पहुंचाने में हिंदी पट्टी का सबसे बड़ा योगदान है। इसका मुख्य कारण हिंदी-पट्टी में कार्यरत समाजवादी व जनपक्षधर हिरावल दस्ते का विचारहीन, अनैतिक और  प्रतिक्रियावादी होते जाना है। अगर हम उपरोक्त बातों को स्वीकार करते हैं, तो कुछ रोचक निष्कर्ष निकलते हैं। हिंदी-जनता और उसके हिरावल दस्ते को विचारहीन और प्रतिक्रियावादी बनने से रोकने की मुख्य ज़िम्मेदारी किसकी थी?

ગુજરાતના સ્થાપના દિવસે યાદ કરીએ ભારતના વિશ્વપ્રસિદ્ધ ગુજરાતી પુરાતત્વવિદ્ ને

- ગૌરાંગ જાની*  આજે કોઈ ગુજરાતી એ કલ્પના પણ ન કરી શકે કે વર્ષ ૧૮૩૯ માં જૂનાગઢમાં જન્મેલા એક ગુજરાતી વિશ્વ પ્રસિદ્ધ બની શકે! પણ આપણે એ ગુજરાતીને કદાચ વિસરી ગયા છીએ જેમણે ગિરનારના અશોક શિલાલેખને દોઢસો વર્ષ પૂર્વે ઉકેલી આપ્યો.આ વિદ્વાન એટલે ભગવાનલાલ ઈન્દ્રજી. ૭ નવેમ્બર, ૧૮૩૯ ના દિવસે જૂનાગઢના પ્રશ્નોરા નાગર બ્રાહ્મણ પરિવારમાં તેમનો જન્મ થયો હતો. જૂનાગઢના એ સમયે અંગ્રેજી શિક્ષણની સગવડ ન હોવાને કારણે તેમને અંગ્રેજી ભાષાનું જ્ઞાન ન હતું પણ પાછળથી તેમણે ખપ પૂરતું અંગ્રેજી જાણી લીધું હતું.

Under Modi, democracy is regressing and economy is also growing slowly

By Avyaan Sharma*   India is "the largest democracy in the world", but now its democracy is regressing and its economy is also growing slowly. What has PM Modi's ten years in power brought us? Unemployment remains high. Joblessness is particularly high among India's youth - with those aged 15 to 29 making up a staggering 83% of all unemployed people in India, according to the "India Employment Report 2024", published last month by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Institute of Human Development (IHD). The BJP-led government did not provide jobs to two crore youth in a year as was promised by Modi in the run up to the 2014 general elections.

नफरती बातें: मुसलमानों में असुरक्षा का भाव बढ़ रहा है, वे अपने मोहल्लों में सिमट रहे हैं

- राम पुनियानी*  भारत पर पिछले 10 सालों से हिन्दू राष्ट्रवादी भारतीय जनता पार्टी (भाजपा) राज कर रही है. भाजपा आरएसएस परिवार की सदस्य है और आरएसएस का लक्ष्य है हिन्दू राष्ट्र का निर्माण. आरएसएस से जुड़ी सैंकड़ों संस्थाएँ हैं. उसके लाखों, बल्कि शायद, करोड़ों स्वयंसेवक हैं. इसके अलावा कई हजार वरिष्ठ कार्यकर्ता हैं जिन्हें प्रचारक कहा जाता है. भाजपा के सत्ता में आने के बाद से आरएसएस दुगनी गति से हिन्दू राष्ट्र के निर्माण के अपने एजेण्डे को पूरा करने में जुट गया है. यदि भाजपा को चुनावों में लगातार सफलता हासिल हो रही है तो उसका कारण है देश में साम्प्रदायिकता और साम्प्रदायिक मुद्दों का बढ़ता बोलबाला. इनमें से कुछ हैं राम मंदिर, गौमांस और गोवध एवं लव जिहाद. 

Laxmanpur Bathe massacre: Perfect example of proto-fascist Brahmanical social order

By Harsh Thakor  The massacre at Laxmanpur-Bathe of Jehanabad in Bihar on the night of 1 December in 1997 was a landmark event with distinguishing features .The genocide rightly shook the conscience of the nation in the 50th year of Indian independence. The scale of the carnage was unparalleled in any caste massacre. It was a perfect manifestation of how in essence the so called neo-liberal state was in essence most autocratic. 

ભારતમાં જિસસ ક્રાઈસ્ટના દર્શન, ખ્રિસ્તી ધર્મના આગમનને કારણે સમાજ વ્યવસ્થામાં પરિવર્તન

- ઉત્તમ પરમાર  મારી કિશોર અવસ્થામાં કેટલાક ચિત્રો અને મૂર્તિઓએ હૃદયમાં એવું સ્થાન જમાવ્યું છે કે આજદિન પર્યંત  ઉત્તરોઉત્તર વિકસતું જ રહ્યું છે. પ્રેમ કરુણાના મૂર્તિમંત અવતાર  જિસસ ક્રાઈસ્ટને વધુસ્તંભે ચઢાવેલી મૂર્તિ  મારી કોઈપણ ધર્મ વિશેની સમજ નહોતી ત્યારથી મારા હૃદયમાં સ્થાપિત થયેલી છે. મારા ઘરની દિવાલ પર વધસ્તંભે ચઢેલા જીસસની પ્રતિમા જોઈને કોઈ મને પૂછી બેસતું કે તું ક્રિશ્ચન છે?

रैंकिंग: अधिकांश भारतीय विश्वविद्यालयों का स्तर बहुत गिरा, इस साल भी यह गिरवाट जारी

- प्रमोद रंजन*  अप्रैल, 2024 में भारतीय विश्वविद्यालयों की अंतर्राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर उच्च रैंकिंग की चर्चा रही। मीडिया ने इसका उत्सव मनाया। लेकिन स्थिति इसके विपरीत है। वैश्विक विश्वविद्यालय रैंकिग में अच्छा स्थान मिलने की खबरें, कुछ संस्थानों को इक्का-दुक्का विषयों में मिले रैंक के आधार पर चुनिंदा ढंग से प्रकाशित की गईं थीं। वास्तविकता यह है कि हाल के वर्षों में हमारे अधिकांश विश्वविद्यालयों का स्तर बहुत गिर गया है। इस साल भी यह गिरवाट जारी रही है।

नोएडा में मैन्युअल स्कैवेंजर्स की मौत: परिवारों को मुआवजा नहीं, प्राधिकरण ने एफआईआर नहीं की

- अरुण खोटे, संजीव कुमार*  गत एक सप्ताह में, उत्तर प्रदेश में सीवर/सेप्टि क टैंक सफाई कर्मियों की सफाई के दौरान सेप्टिक टैंक में मौत। 2 मई, 2024 को, लखनऊ के वज़ीरगजं क्षेत्र में एक सेवर लाइन की सफाई करते समय शोब्रान यादव, 56, और उनके पत्रु सशुील यादव, 28, घटुन से हुई मौत। एक और घटना 3 मई 2024 को नोएडा, सेक्टर 26 में एक घर में सेप्टि क टैंक को सफाई करते समय दो सफाई कर्मचर्मारी नूनी मडंल, 36 और कोकन मडंल जिसे तपन मडंल के नाम से जानते हैं, की मौत हो गई। ये सफाई कर्मचर्मारी बंगाल के मालदा जिले के निवासी थे और नोएडा सेक्टर 9 में रहते थे। कोकन मडंल अपनी पत्नी अनीता मडंल के साथ रहते थे। इनके तीन स्कूल जाने वाले बच्चे हैं जो बंगाल में रहते हैं। नूनी मडंल अपनी पत्नी लिलिका मडंल और अपने पत्रु सजुान के साथ किराए पर झग्गी में रहते थे। वे दैनिक मजदरूी और सफाई कर्मचर्मारी के रूप में काम करते थे।

प्राचीन भारत के लोकायत संप्रदाय ने कुछ परजीवियों की खूब खबर ली: प्रमुख प्रस्थापनायें

- राणा सिंह   भारत में परजीवियों का एक विशाल समूह है जो बोलता है कि “सब कुछ माया है”,  लेकिन व्यवहार में यह समूह सारी जिंदगी इसी “माया” के पीछे पागल रहता है।  प्राचीन भारत के लोकायत संप्रदाय ने इन परजीवियों की खूब खबर ली थी।

बिहार के ऐतिहासिक विक्रमशिला विश्वविद्यालय के खंडहरों की परिक्रमा का रोमांचक अवसर

- सुमन्त शरण  कुछ दिन पहले एक सुदूर ग्रामीण अंचल (पीरपैंती)  से तकरीबन डेढ़-दो घंटे की दूरी पर अवस्थित ऐतिहासिक बौद्ध विक्रमशिला विश्वविद्यालय (के अवशेषों) की परिक्रमा का अवसर मिला। विक्रमशीला विश्वविद्यालय की स्थापना पाल वंश के राजा धर्मपाल ने की थी। 8वीं शताब्दी से 12वीं शताब्दी के अंत तक यह विश्वविद्यालय भारत के प्रमुख शिक्षा केंद्रों में से एक हुआ करता था। कहा जाता है कि यह अपने कुछेक अत्यंत अनूठे नवाचार के चलते उस समय नालंदा विश्वविद्यालय का सबसे बड़ा प्रतिस्पर्धी था। हालांकि, मान्यता यह भी है कि अल्प अवधि के लिए दोनों विश्वविद्यालय के बीच शिक्षण एवं प्रबंधन के क्षेत्रों में घनिष्ठ पारस्परिक संबंध एवं शिक्षकों के आदान-प्रदान का सिलसिला भी रहा था। यह विश्वविद्यालय तंत्रशास्त्र की पढ़ाई के लिए सबसे ज्यादा विख्यात था। इस विषय का एक सबसे विख्यात छात्र अतीसा दीपनकरा था, जो बाद में तिब्बत जाकर बौद्ध हो गया। इसके प्रथम कुलपति ज्ञान अतिस थे।