New BP CEO sets ambitious 2050 ‘reinvention’ carbon targets

BP CEO Bernard Looney said the oil giant needed to “reinvent” itself in light of the need to meet targets set by the 2015 Paris climate accord. (AFP)
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Updated 13 February 2020

New BP CEO sets ambitious 2050 ‘reinvention’ carbon targets

  • BP on Wednesday set more ambitious targets than rivals such as Royal Dutch Shell and Total

LONDON: BP pledged to sharply reduce its carbon emissions by 2050 as part of a reinvention of the 111-year old company by newly-appointed CEO Bernard Looney.

BP on Wednesday set more ambitious targets than rivals such as Royal Dutch Shell and Total but fell short of commitments made by smaller Spanish peer Repsol.

“We need to reinvent BP,” Looney said in a statement.

The world’s top oil and gas companies have come under heavy pressure from investors and climate activists to fall in line with the 2015 Paris climate accord which aims to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

“The world’s carbon budget is finite and running out fast; we need a rapid transition to net zero. We all want energy that is reliable and affordable, but that is no longer enough. It must also be cleaner,” he added.

US groups such as Exxon and Chevron are far less ambitious with their greenhouse gas related targets than their European rivals.

BP said it plans to halve the intensity of the carbon emissions of the oil and gas products it sells, known as Scope 3 emissions, by 2050.

A pioneering “Beyond Petroleum” plan in the early 2000s to build a large renewables business ended with huge losses.

Over the past two years, Europe’s top oil and gas companies have ceded ground to growing investor pressure to tackle climate change by reducing carbon emissions.

Intensity-based targets measure the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of energy or barrel of oil and gas produced. That means that absolute emissions can rise with growing production, even if the headline intensity metric falls.

Scope 3 emissions vastly exceed greenhouse gases caused by the production of crude oil, natural gas and refined products, including electricity generation, typically by a factor of about six among oil majors, according to Reuters.

In one of its biggest changes, BP will dismantle the traditional model of an oil and gas production, or upstream, unit and a refining, trading and marketing, or downstream, unit.

Its new organization includes four units: Production and Operations; Customers and Products; Gas and Low Carbon Energy; and Innovation & Engineering.


Saudi minister: OPEC+ will take responsible approach to virus

Updated 26 February 2020

Saudi minister: OPEC+ will take responsible approach to virus

  • Saudi Arabia supports the further oil production cut, but Russia is yet to announce its final position on the matter

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said on Tuesday he was confident that OPEC and its partner oil-producing nations, the so-called OPEC+ group, would respond responsibly to the spread of the coronavirus.

He also said Saudi Arabia and Russia would continue to engage regarding oil policy.

“Everything serious requires being attended to,” the minister, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, told reporters at an industry conference in Riyadh.

An OPEC+ committee this month recommended the group deepen its output cuts by an additional 600,000 barrels per day.

Saudi Arabia supports the further oil production cut, but Russia is yet to announce its final position on the matter.

The minister said he was still talking with Moscow and that he was confident of Riyadh’s partnership with the rest of the OPEC+ group.

“We did not run out of ideas, we have not closed our phones. There is always a good way of communicating through conference calls,” he said.

Regarding the coronavirus, which has impacted OPEC member Iran, he said OPEC+ members should not be complacent about the virus but added he was confident every OPEC+ member was a responsible and responsive producer.

The flu-like SARS-CoV-2 virus, which first broke out in China, has now spread to more than 20 countries.

“Of course there is an impact and we are assessing, but we’ll do whatever we can in our next meeting and we’ll address that issue,” UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei said at the same industry conference.

Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser on Monday said he expected a short-lived impact on oil demand.

“We think this is short term and I am confident that in the second half of the year there is going to be an improvement on the demand side, especially from China,” he said.

Oil climbed on Tuesday as investors sought bargains after crude benchmarks slumped almost 4 percent in the previous session, although concerns about the global spread of the virus capped gains.