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'We have to show people that we're part of the solution'

Release date:
15 May 2023
bp CEO Bernard is interviewed by David Rubenstein, co-founder of private investment firm The Carlyle Group, at the Economic Club of Washington
🕒 2 min read| 📖 Feature

They discussed how to tackle the energy trilemma – the challenge to provide the world with energy that's more secure, more affordable and lower carbon. 

“We do that by doing two things. First investing in today’s energy system, which is predominantly oil and gas. And, not or, investing in accelerating the energy transition.”


“We do that by doing two things. First investing in today’s energy system, which is predominantly oil and gas. And, not or – investing in accelerating the energy transition.”


Transforming bp

“In our strategy update in February of this year, we said we’re going to put up to $8 billion more into today’s energy system and up to $8 billion more into the transition. That’s $55-65 billion in the transition by 2030.”

Today, bp is an oil and gas company but is on its way to becoming an integrated energy company, he said.

He pointed to the rapid rise in investment in bp's lower carbon businesses, and convenience and power trading arms (what we call our ‘transition growth engines’) rising from around 3% of total investment in 2019 to around 30% in 2022.

“From 3% to 30% in three years.”

Investment in today’s energy system

At the same time, Bernard emphasized how continued investment in hydrocarbons is still needed to help reduce the risk of a cost-of-living crisis:

“If we don’t invest in oil and gas today... production falls. When production falls, but demand doesn’t change, there’s only one thing that can happen: prices go up.


“When we lost 2-3% of the world’s gas supply after the war in Ukraine began, prices went sky high.”

Shovels in the ground

bp is in action, getting shovels in the ground and demonstrating we are serious about achieving our aims, he said. 


“We need to build that gigahub in Houston Hobby airport with Hertz. We need to build that biofuels SAF plant at Cherry Point refinery. We need to increase production in the Permian Basin. We need to bring those offshore wind farms off the East Coast. We’re not doing that to improve our image: we’re doing it because it’s what the world needs, and we’re going to create real value for our shareholders in doing it.” 

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