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BP CEO: 2017 Was A “Turning Point” For The Company

British Petroleum CEO Bob Dudley sees 2017 as a recovery year after a period of crisis that devastated the company’s bottom line, according to a new report by The Financial Times.

“This year has felt like a turning point,” says Dudley. “We’re never going to feel complacent. But it feels like we are now dealing with the same problems that everyone else has.” 

BP has brought a total of seven oil and gas production projects online in 2017, almost breaking the company’s record for maximum inaugurations in a year.

The multinational oil major is also trying to increase the share of its gas production as part of its effort to become friendlier to the environment, while still producing fuels that will power civilization.

“There will be a need for oil well into the second half of the century,” Dudley says. “There are going to be 2bn more people in the world by 2035 . . . Every kind of energy is going to be needed.” 

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico costed the company $62 billion in fines and clean-up expenses, which it paid by selling off its assets, making the business more agile in recent years as oil prices hit record lows.

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“Knowing that we were still walking a financial tightrope coming out of the Gulf [of Mexico disaster], we couldn’t wait to see if the price went back up,” he says. “The whole organization reacted fast.” 

To diversify its core competencies and increase its green energy footprint, BP announced the acquisition of a 43 percent interest in solar power company Lighthouse for $200 million earlier this month, following in the footsteps of peers Shell and Total, which have been very active in the renewables sector recently. Lighthouse is the largest utility-scale solar power development company in Europe, and BP’s investment will be used to fund its international expansion. 

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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  • Lee James on December 20 2017 said:
    Good to see European petroleum companies investing in renewable energy. The new identity should be, "energy company," not "oil company."

    Meanwhile, while U.S. tech companies are very progressive about clean energy, our petroleum companies lag behind on developing clean energy, compared to Europe. We're doing away with coal OK, but more progress is needed.

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