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BP Hints That Its Goal to Cut Oil and Gas Output Could Be Flexible

As BP looks to please shareholders with higher returns and stock valuations, the UK-based supermajor is suggesting that a previous goal to reduce its oil and gas production by 2030 is now flexible and would depend more on returns rather than on volumes.  

BP has to decide in the coming years whether to proceed with more than 30 planned projects across its businesses, new CEO Murray Auchincloss told Reuters this week.

“And as we make those decisions on a returns-based approach, that will help inform what we think our production will be in 2030, but I am focused on returns and cash flow, not volume,” Auchincloss said.

“Two million (boed) is a decent number to stick by right now. Could it be higher? Yes. Could it be lower? Yes,” BP’s top executive told Reuters.

The first-quarter results that the supermajor released earlier this week didn’t reassure investors much as BP missed earnings estimates, due to lower oil and gas prices and a prolonged refinery outage in the United States.

“Compared with the fourth quarter 2023, the result reflects lower oil and gas realizations, the impacts of the Whiting refinery outage and significantly weaker fuels margin, partially offset by a significantly lower level of turnaround activity, a strong oil trading result and higher realized refining margins,” BP said in a statement on Tuesday.

Some of the company’s top institutional shareholders expect it to reverse the previous commitment to reduce oil and gas production by the end of the decade amid a broader pivot in the industry to continue providing the hydrocarbons the world needs.

“Do we think BP is going to change their guidance on oil production? Yes, we do,” a representative of one of BP’s top ten shareholders told the Financial Times this week.


Auchincloss, who succeeded Bernard Looney, has expressed in the past views that the supermajor would “pragmatically adapt” to energy demand trends. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on May 08 2024 said:
    BP and other oil supermajors have no alternative but to continue increasing their oil and gas production year after year even reducing their commitments to climate change goals otherwise they lose their raison d’etre.

    This is because there has been a growing realisation in the world that oil and gas will continue to drive the global economy well into the future, renewables can’t on their own satisfy global demand for electricity and energy and that the notions of global energy transition
    and net-zero emissions are myths.

    Dr MMdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economists
    Global Energy Expert

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