BP sticks to green goals after Looney leaves, interim boss insists
BP’s acting boss insisted the oil giant’s green campaign is on the right track following the departure of his disgraced predecessor Bernard Looney.
Murray Auchincloss, who was the energy group’s finance chief before taking over as interim chief executive, said “one person leaving does not change the strategy”.
Looney was seen as the driving force behind BP’s energy transition plans, including the goal of reaching net zero by 2050 or sooner by reducing oil and gas production and investing in renewable energy.
But the Irish businessman was forced to resign last month after admitting he failed to disclose to the board all previous romantic relationships with colleagues during an earlier investigation into his conduct.
Over the weekend, the 53-year-old was accused of promoting women he had had relationships with.
Green targets: BP acting boss Murray Auchincloss (right) insisted the oil giant’s green campaign is on the right track following the departure of his disgraced predecessor Bernard Looney (left).
His abrupt departure has raised questions about the future of BP’s green agenda.
Speaking yesterday at the Abu Dhabi International Progressive Energy Congress (ADIPEC), Auchincloss insisted that the strategy has not changed. He said: ‘We presented a strategy update in February, seven months ago.
“That is a strategy supported by the management team and supported by the board; one person leaving does not change the strategy.”
He added that the industry needs to continue investing in oil and gas and said the energy transition “will take time.”
Oil executives and policymakers are in Abu Dhabi this week for the energy conference ahead of the United Nations COP 28 climate talks in Dubai, which begin on November 30.
Shell CEO Wael Sawan, who participated in a panel with Auchincloss, said the oil company has no plans to deviate from its green strategy.
The company has faced criticism for slowing its transition to renewable energy since Sawan took over in January, saying it will keep oil production near current levels and increase natural gas production.
“Ultimately, shareholders must decide whether the low-carbon energy options we are presenting to them are viable to invest in, and we must be able to cover our cost of capital and generate profits for our shareholders,” he told the meeting. event.
Meanwhile, the chief executive of French energy group Total Energies warned that the energy transition will drive up prices for customers and said governments must find a way to make the increase gradual.
“We firmly believe that electricity prices will increase in the future,” said Patrick Pouyane.
Vicki Hollub, CEO of U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum, said it’s important for energy companies to be included in the climate debate because they have solutions to mitigate the impact.
Oil and gas company bosses and heavy industry bosses met to discuss emissions ahead of COP 28.
The goal is to get major industry players to make decarbonization commitments that would help limit global warming.
“We hope to reach this agreement before COP28 and then coordinate on how best to position it at COP,” said COP28 executive director Adnan Amin.
Boost for drivers
Drivers may be about to get a break.
Skyrocketing oil prices have driven up the cost of gasoline and diesel in recent months.
And some experts have warned that oil will surpass $100 a barrel. But Citi analysts said they now expect crude to fall from its current level of around $92 a barrel to $70 next year.
But Ed Morse, head of commodities research at the investment bank, said prices would average $73 a barrel in the second quarter of next year.
He said: “Demand appears limited as pandemic recovery factors continue to ease and peak transport fuel demand looms, while supply is growing at non-OPEC+ suppliers.”