“We are operating in a world that is not on a sustainable path,” Dudley said in a keynote dinner address on March 12. “How we respond will define our future.”
As the world responds, Dudley noted, it must meet both sides of the dual challenge - that is, it must “provide much more energy, but with far fewer emissions.”
Meanwhile, companies like BP must balance their responsibilities to society with their responsibilities to shareholders.
“We get our license to operate from society,” Dudley said, “but we get our capital from investors, and it’s our duty to spend it wisely and deliver the returns they expect, both shorter term and long term.
“In other words, we have to be progressive for society and pragmatic for investors.”
That means both adapting to and advancing the transition to a lower-carbon energy mix, Dudley explained.
“I’m confident that we can readily reshape BP however fast the energy transition unfolds - and I’m sure it’s a similar story at the other majors.
“That reshaping process is already underway,” he added, citing BP’s investment in Lightsource BP, Europe’s largest solar development company, and Chargemaster, the U.K.’s largest electric vehicle charging company.
Dudley concluded his remarks with a call for continued evolution in the oil and gas industry, greater willingness to engage with its critics, and more transparency with shareholders.
“We have to move from being pure-play oil and gas companies into broader energy businesses,” he said. “We need to demonstrate that we share the common goal of a low-carbon future and that we are in action towards it. The stakes are too high not to.”
During a March 13 panel on reducing methane emissions, Upstream Chief Executive Bernard Looney emphasized that BP is committed to being a leader on methane, and he described a wide range of leak-detection technologies the company is using to improve its operations.
For example, he pointed out that a new drone deployed by BP’s U.S. Lower 48 business - BPX Energy - can visit and inspect 1,500 wells in just 30 days. Elsewhere around the world, Looney noted, BP has established permanent methane monitoring cameras in Oman, and in Trinidad it can provide leak detection 24 hours a day.
He also echoed Dudley’s comments from the previous night - delivered in a conversation with CERAWeek conference chair Daniel Yergin - about BP’s position on U.S. methane regulation.
“In the United States, we believe in the direct federal regulation of methane, both for new and existing well sources,” Looney said.
One of his fellow panelists was Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
Shortly before the panel began, BP and EDF announced a new, three-year strategic agreement aimed at reducing methane emissions from the global oil and gas supply chain.As a first step in the partnership, BP will provide up to $500,000 to fund ongoing research into methane emission detection technologies at Colorado State University.
Other BP leaders participated in CERAWeek panels covering issues such as electric vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI), and carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS). Here are some of the key points they made: