BPX’s Kola Fagbayi discusses safety culture and global energy transition in Houston

December 7, 2018

BP is committed to meeting global energy demand while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions, said Kola Fagbayi, vice president for HSSE and engineering technical authority for BPX, BP’s U.S. onshore oil and gas business.

That commitment was one of several points Fagbayi made about BP’s operations during a speech recently at the OSHA Oil & Gas Safety and Health Conference in Houston.

Fagbayi gave a brief outline of the BPX business (formerly known as “Lower 48”) and highlighted the recent purchase of BHP’s onshore assets.

The acquisition, which closed on Oct. 31, brings some of the best North American acreage in some of the best basins into BP’s portfolio.

“This deal reflects one element of BP’s three-part Upstream strategy — namely, growing gas and advantaged oil,” he said. “That is, grow both, but only those resources that are low cost or high margin, while tackling the greenhouse gas challenge.”

From Lower 48 to BPX

Fagbayi explained the recent name change from BP Lower 48 to BPX, saying the BP portion of the name confirms that the business remains wholly owned by BP.

“The ‘X’ portion of BPX stands for exploration, although not purely in the traditional sense of finding new reservoirs for development,” he said. “It also represents the exploration, or search, for new ideas and methods to fundamentally improve our business, and is emblematic of the continuous evolution of our business necessary to meet near-term challenges and achieve long-term success.”

Safety

Fagbayi talked about how BP fosters a culture of care and safety. “I believe leadership sets the tone and culture of an organization,” he said. “To this end we have encouraged our leaders to visit the worksites and listen to our employees.“

He said leadership showed concern and care for employees’ pain points and took action to make business improvements.

“We began to see a significant trend in the number of employees who took personal ownership of safety,” he said. “Safety began to connect with everybody in the business.”

Environment

“In the decades to come, the world has to meet rising global energy demand while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At BP, we call this the dual challenge,” he said.

Fagbayi said BP’s Energy Outlook projects that demand will increase by 35 percent out to 2040, driven mainly by rising prosperity. “Renewables alone will not be enough to meet the world’s energy needs or deliver a meaningful reduction in CO2 emissions,” he said. “Instead, we need to focus on improving all kinds of energy — including oil and gas.”

Fagbayi described some of the initiatives BP has taken to reduce methane emissions, such as the replacement of high-bleed pneumatic controllers.

“We’ve replaced 10,000 pneumatic controllers with continuous low-bleed and intermittent pneumatic controllers that emit less methane. I am pleased to report that we have less than 30 high-bleed controllers left in our operations.”

He said BP is also installing pumps that run on solar power, rather than gas. “Collectively, these actions — and others — are permanently reducing greenhouse gas emissions in BPX.”

Fagbayi said he was very optimistic about what can be achieved in the future.

“By reducing our emissions, we are improving the safety of operations. We are looking at the challenges holistically. Safety will always remain a core value.”

Fagbayi also introduced the event’s keynote speaker, retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Johnny “Joey” Jones. Jones, who lost both legs in an explosion in Afghanistan, works to improve the lives of veterans.