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.


UAE dives into Lake Manzala project

Updated 47 min 24 sec ago

UAE dives into Lake Manzala project

  • Egyptian campaign aims to return the lake to its previous state and revive local fishing industry

CAIRO: The UAE National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) has announced that it won the rights to the expansion project of Lake Manzala in Egypt, valued at 600 million UAE dirhams ($163 million).

The company’s announcement of the new project came following a disclosure published on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange website. It ensures compliance with the principle of disclosure and transparency in force in the UAE.

Lake Manzala is one of Egypt’s largest natural lakes. It is known for its potential fishing opportunities, as it has the basis for high fish stocks due to natural nutrients and a moderate climate throughout the year. It produces about half of the natural fish production in lakes.

The lake has witnessed neglect in recent years, losing much of its importance and wealth. In May 2017 Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi launched a national project to develop Egyptian lakes, with a key focus on Lake Manzala.

NMDC said in a statement that winning the project came through its partnership with the Egyptian-Emirati Challenge Company. It said that it will take about two years to implement the project.

NMDC is one of the leading companies in the field of dredging, land reclamation and civil and marine construction in the Middle East. The Lake Manzala development project aims to improve the quality of water to restore free fishing and return the lake to its previous state, which will boost the local market and export output.

President El-Sisi said that Lake Manzala will contribute to enhancing Egypt’s fishing industry, and export operations will be activated after its full development. He directed the border governorates, in coordination with the Ministry of Interior and the Armed Forces, to remove all encroachments and criminal outposts on the lake.

Several days ago, Dakahlia governorate completed a difficult operation to remove encroachments on the lake. A large campaign that used Armed Forces Engineering Authority equipment removed 301 houses in the Abdo El-Salhy area in El-Matareya city, known as the “fishermen’s land,” which was built on areas that were filled in from the lake. The operation occurred after local fishermen were persuaded to obtain compensation for vacating their houses.

Magdy Zaher, executive director of Manzala Lake, said that the engineering authority used 320 excavators and 20 imported suction dredgers to work in the lake.

The authority dredged the upper islands isolated from the water with the help of an Emirati bulldozing company to increase the efficiency and purification of Lake Manzala.

Zaher said the lake project will require several steps.

The most important is the removal of encroachments on the water surface and doubling its area to 250,000 feddans, he said. Dredging and deepening the lake, opening the gates and extending the radial channels to allow Mediterranean waters to enter the lake will follow, he added.

A safety belt will come in the form of a road 80 km long and 30 meters wide, which will surround the lake and prevent future encroachments. It will also divert the course of the Bahr El-Baqar water treatment plant, which pours 12 million cubic meters of sanitary, industrial and agricultural drainage into the lake, Zaher said.