BP chief charts energy, emission course

Operational excellence, product sustainability, and collaboration should be goals of an oil and gas industry needing to supply growing amounts of energy while cutting emissions of carbon dioxide, according to BP PLC Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley.

Operational excellence, product sustainability, and collaboration should be goals of an oil and gas industry needing to supply growing amounts of energy while cutting emissions of carbon dioxide, according to BP PLC Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley.

Renewable energy, Dudley told the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul, is growing fast but won’t supply more than about 10% of global energy in 2035 without different governmental policies and technological breakthroughs.

BP expects global energy demand to increase “by around a third over the next couple of decades.”

Prominent among operational improvements are technologies such as big data that are “rewriting the rule book” for exploration and production, Dudley said.

“Having already turned a page on exploration through seismic processing, digital technology is now opening a new chapter on production through data lakes, real-time feeds, and predictive software that allows us to maximize production and minimize downtime,” he said.

Technology also helps increase product sustainability.

The BP chief cited projections that the global car fleet will double during the next 20 years while oil demand grows by only one-fifth.

Contributing to that trend are electric cars and hybrids, more-efficient internal combustion engines, and more-efficient fuels and lubricants.

And while technology also improves competitiveness of nonhydrocarbon energy, “common sense tells us that the ambition to reduce emissions cannot depend on renewables alone,” Dudley said.

Noting the importance of natural gas in meeting the twin needs of supplying a growing energy market while lowering emissions, he said six of seven major BP projects starting up this year produce gas.

Dudley also said “good, long-term relationships” can help the industry increase efficiency and reduce emissions, noting oil companies collaborating in the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative.

In a separate WPC speech, Dudley highlighted prospects for “unique” growth to explain his company’s recent expansion in India.

BP and Reliance Industries Ltd. last month said they were expanding their partnership with plans to invest $6 billion in three major deepwater projects offshore India (OGJ Online, June 15, 2017).

BP has become the largest international oil company in India, Dudley said, because of growth, the country’s “emerging vision” for economic improvement linked with energy development, and practical measures the government has taken to encourage investment.

Dudley said BP expects Indian energy demand to grow during the next 2 decades by 130%—more than four times the global rate.

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