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Baku Energy Forum 2023: Speech by bp’s EVP, production and operations

Gordon Birrell, EVP, production and operations 

‘Unleashing the AND not OR approach to energy’ 

Thank you, Mat. 

Your Excellency… 
Minister of energy… 
Distinguished members of the panel. 
Dear friends and colleagues from SOCAR… 
Dear friends and colleagues from bp… 
It’s a pleasure and honour to be here. 
Particularly this year – the year of Heydar Aliyev and his 100th anniversary. 
I had the honour of meeting [President Aliyev] during my first assignment to Azerbaijan as head of exploration some years ago. 
I celebrated an anniversary of my own this year when I turned 60. 
30 of those years have been at bp. 
Which means I have been at bp for every year of our proud 31- year connection with Azerbaijan. 
As a company we are deeply proud to be part of Azerbaijan’s truly remarkable energy story. 
The signing of ACG in 1994 and then first oil three years after. 
The building and completion of the Baku- Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. 
The Deal of the New Century in 2017. 
From discovery and into production of Shah Deniz – one of the world’s great gas fields. 
From inception to completion of the Southern Gas Corridor – a brand new source of energy security for millions of people. 
And the numerous community projects we have supported – with a heavy emphasis on education – serving future generations. 
It’s a truly remarkable story – and there is so much more to come, including much more volumes of gas into Europe. 
In fact, I am even more excited today – as head of bp’s production and operations team – than I was the day I first arrived here in Baku in 1999. 
Because the opportunities to create value - support the country – support communities – create jobs – are greater and more diverse than ever. 
My good friend and colleague Gary Jones, head of bp business in this region will say more on this later…but let me briefly just set out our priorities… 
We are building a new offshore platform as the next stage of the giant ACG field development.  
Just a few weeks ago we were honoured to welcome President Aliyev to our construction site to celebrate the safe completion of this new production facility.  
We are evaluating deep-lying gas reservoirs under the producing ACG oil field.  
We are exploring growth opportunities at Shah Deniz – and Gary Jones and our friends at SOCAR and SOFAZ were there recently to see progress on our new exploration well. 
And we are expanding our energy offer to Azerbaijan in solar with the view to building a 240-megawatt solar power plant in Jabrayil. 
We’re hugely proud to be a trusted part of this future. 
Producing oil and gas today and for decades to come. 
And building new low carbon energies for the future. 
It’s about AND not OR. 
That’s what the world needs – and that’s what bp’s strategy is specifically designed to deliver. 
Safely, responsibly producing secure, affordable energy for today, which is mainly oil and gas. 
And at the same time, safely, responsibly helping the transition to tomorrow’s energy system – which has to be lower carbon, as well as secure and affordable.  
Azerbaijan is well placed for this energy transition. 
And as the country’s trusted energy partner, bp is deeply committed to maximising its potential. 
Thank you.