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Advancing the energy transition

Taken from the BP Sustainability Report 2018, published in March 2019

Embracing the dual challenge

The world is growing like never before, creating opportunity for billions of people. And all this growth requires energy. But as the world demands more energy it also demands that it be produced and delivered in new ways, with fewer emissions.

At BP, we embrace this dual challenge. We have always looked to the future, adapted to change and met challenges like this head on.

To deliver significantly lower emissions, every type of energy needs to be cleaner and better. A race to renewables will not be enough. That’s why we are making bold changes across our entire business.

Here’s how we are doing it: by reducing, improving, creating. We’re reducing emissions in our own operations; we’re improving our products to help customers lower their emissions; and we’re creating low carbon businesses.

We are able to do this because of the innovative mindset of our people, our unique global research network, and the potential being unleashed by digital, big data and advanced technologies. This is allowing us to rapidly develop new ways to tackle emissions and improve efficiency, and to deploy these throughout BP.

Bob Dudley signature

Our low carbon ambitions

Embedded within our strategy is BP’s approach to lower carbon and reducing emissions. We call it our ‘reduce, improve, create’ framework.

We have set targets and aims to reduce emissions in our operations, improve our products to help our customers reduce their emissions, and create low carbon businesses. We’ll review these regularly so we can keep them up-to-date with changes in our portfolio, protocols and other factors.

Visit bp.com/sustainability for more information on our progress in 2018 towards these ambitions.

Improving the efficiency of our operations

Reduce | Improve | Create

We have set a target of 3.5 million tonnes of sustainable GHG emissions reductions by 2025. This includes actions taken by our businesses to improve energy efficiency and reduce methane emissions and flaring – all leading to permanent, quantifiable GHG reductions. We are already well on the way to meeting this target with 2.5Mte of reductions achieved since the beginning of 2016.

From 2019, progress against this target will be a factor in determining bonuses for around 36,000 eligible employees, as well as executive directors.

To ensure that as our business grows, our carbon footprint does not, we’ll offset any net increase in emissions above baseline levels that’s not covered by sustainable reductions activity out to 2025.

See bp.com/reducingemissions for more information on the actions we are taking to reduce emissions in our operations.

Leading the methane challenge

Reduce | Improve | Create

We are taking action to minimize methane – the primary component of natural gas – from entering the atmosphere.

Methane has a shorter lifespan in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide but has been assigned a higher global warming potential. Every methane molecule that we can keep in the pipe helps keep atmospheric concentrations down, which is why we are targeting a methane intensity of 0.2%. This target refers to the amount of methane emissions from BP’s upstream oil and gas operations as a percentage of the gas that goes to market from those operations.

  • We’ve piloted infrared cameras that quantify methane emissions in Azerbaijan and the US.
  • We are in the process of deploying gas cloud imaging cameras that have the capability to continuously monitor our facilities and identify new leaks earlier than when they are identified during routine inspections.
  • Nine of our 16 major projects scheduled to be delivered between 2019 and 2021 are gas. For BP-operated projects, we consider GHG emissions reduction opportunities from the design stage.
  • We are active in the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, which has set a collective methane intensity target for member companies of 0.25% by 2025, compared with the baseline of 0.32% in 2017.
  • We support Princeton University’s work to improve scientific understanding of the global methane cycle.

Tackling methane in our US onshore gas business

We are one of the largest natural gas producers in the US and have been taking action to reduce methane emissions for many years

Used enhanced automation to reduce methane emissions during a process in which we periodically remove liquids that have accumulated in a well

Pioneered a technique known as green completions that captures gas that would otherwise be flared or vented as well are completed.

Started using solar pumps instead of gas pneumatic pumps for chemical injection.

Introduced a carbon price in our investment decisions for certain large projects.

Completed our first multilateral well. Drilling multiple horizontal wells from one vertical wellbore requires less equipment than drilling individual wells from multiple well pads. This reduces the potential for leaks from equipment.

Neared completion of a programme we started in 2000 to replace 10,000 high-bleed controllers.

See bp.com/methane for more information.

Producing more natural gas

Reduce | Improve | Create

Natural gas produces about half as much carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as coal, when burned for power, which is why expanding its use globally is critical to reducing CO2 emissions. Gas also emits fewer pollutants, so it is better for air quality.

Gas is an ideal, cost-effective partner to renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar and hydropower, providing a consistent back-up source of power to their variability.

Half the CO2 emissions as coal
Complements renewables
Transportable by ship and pipeline
Intense heat for industrial usage

Already widely used for heating homes and businesses, gas can also deliver the high temperatures needed in heavy industries like steel and cement. And it is becoming more accessible around the world, thanks to a growing global gas market and the fact it can be transported by ship and pipeline.

We are active in finding and producing gas, in addition to its transport, storage and sale. This means we are in a good position as the market continues to grow. And by tackling methane emissions – the main component of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas – we are helping to make sure that gas is a major lower carbon resource for years to come.

Meeting gas demand in Turkey

The Southern Gas Corridor is set to change the energy map of an entire region – connecting gas supplies in the Caspian to markets in Europe for the very first time. We began supplying gas to Turkey in 2018 and gas deliveries to Europe are expected to begin in 2020.

At full production, the Shah Deniz 2 field – located in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea – is expected to deliver enough gas to meet the needs of every capital city along the Southern Gas Corridor more than twice over. At its peak, during construction, the project supported 30,000 jobs.

Helping consumers lower their emissions

Reduce | Improve | Create

We provide fuel for transport, energy for heat and light, lubricants to keep engines running and the petrochemicals products used to make everyday items such as paints, clothes and packaging.

Three quarters of cars on the road in 2040 could still be using internal combustion engines, in a scenario based on recent trends. It’s estimated that cars with conventional engines could be nearly 50% more efficient by 2040 than they are today. So gains in fuel and vehicle efficiency are tremendously important in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

That’s why we are always looking for a wide variety of ways to innovate with fuels, lubricants and chemicals that can help our customers and consumers lower their emissions.

Growing our renewables business

Reduce | Improve | Create

BP has been in the renewable energy business for more than 20 years. We remain one of the largest operators among our peers and we’re expanding in areas where we see opportunities for growth.

Renewables are the fastest-growing energy source in the world today and we estimate that they could provide at least 15% of the global energy mix by 2040.


We have a 43% share in Lightsource BP and plan to invest $200 million over a three-year period.

Lightsource BP aims to play a vital role in shaping the future of global energy delivery by developing substantial solar capacity around the world, and we are working with Lightsource BP to expand its global footprint.


We produce ethanol from sugar cane in Brazil, which has life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions around 70% lower than conventional transport fuels.

In order to better connect our ethanol production with the country’s main fuels markets, we established a joint venture in 2018 with Copersucar – one of the world’s leading ethanol and sugar traders. This includes operating a major ethanol storage terminal in Brazil’s main fuels distribution hub.

Renewable products

Butamax technology, developed in partnership with DuPont, converts sugars from corn into bio-isobutanol – an energy-rich bio product.

Bio-isobutanol has a wide variety of applications. For example, it can be used in the production of paints, coatings and lubricant components. It can also be blended with gasoline at higher concentrations than ethanol. Butamax is upgrading its ethanol facility in Kansas to produce bio-isobutanol.


We create biopower from bagasse, the fibre that remains after crushing sugar cane stalks, and export around 70% to Brazil’s local electricity grid.

This is a low carbon power source, with part of the CO2 emitted from burning bagasse offset by the CO2 absorbed by sugarcane during its growth.


BP has significant interests in onshore wind energy in the US.

We operate 10 sites in seven states and hold an interest in another facility in Hawaii. We’ve partnered with Tesla to test how effectively wind energy can be stored at our Titan 1 wind energy site in South Dakota. The electricity captured is then available for the site to use whenever we need it – even when the wind isn’t blowing. The project will help us learn more about energy storage applications that could be useful across our entire portfolio.

Investing in low carbon ventures

Reduce | Improve | Create

We are investing at least $500 million a year to support low carbon activities, including our renewables businesses and acquisitions. Around $200 million of this is used to develop options for new lower carbon businesses in five areas that are core to our strategy for advancing the energy transition. These are areas we believe have the potential to make a real contribution to our future and build resilience in existing operations.

Carbon management

We work with organizations that aim to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and apply carbon capture, use and storage.

Capturing carbon

We invest in Carbonfree Chemicals, which has developed technology to capture carbon emissions from industrial processes and turn them into chemicals that can be used to make household products, such as baking soda.

Advanced mobility

We look for opportunities in advanced mobility across the broad themes of new mobility models, electric vehicles, batteries and charging.

Mobile charging for electric vehicles

Our investment in FreeWire is helping us respond to demand for electric charging facilities on our forecourts. We successfully piloted the company’s mobile rapid charging systems at one of our UK retail sites and are now exploring options to offer FreeWire’s charging services elsewhere.

Bio and low carbon products

Demand for lower carbon fuels, industrial materials and other products is growing. The airline industry, for example, has ambitious carbon reduction targets – pledging to cut its emissions in half by 2050, despite anticipated growth in air travel.

From waste to fuel

We invest in Fulcrum BioEnergy, which is constructing the US’s first commercial scale waste-to-fuels plant. The facility will incorporate technology developed by BP and Johnson Matthey to help convert household waste, that would otherwise be sent to landfill, into fuel for transport.

Power and storage

Our Energy Outlook suggests that, if recent trends continue, three quarters of the growth in world energy demand over the coming decades is in the power sector. New technologies are shaping the way that energy is consumed and managed.

Energy monitoring

We invest in Voltaware, a company that has developed a monitoring system to track energy consumption. Voltaware sensors relay real-time information from individual appliances to a smartphone, so users can adjust their electricity usage, improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Digital transformation

Digital technologies have the potential to transform the way we work and how we respond to our customers’ changing needs. With the pace of change increasing, it is essential to spot the next waves of opportunity and digital developments.

Creating connections

Digital platforms can simplify how people access transport solutions. Our investment in Chinese company, PowerShare, supports its work to simplify the charging experience for customers by connecting electric vehicle drivers, charge point operators and power suppliers through its online platforms.

Accrediting our lower carbon activities

To reinforce our low carbon ambitions, we have implemented our Advancing Low Carbon accreditation programme, which aims to inspire every part of BP to identify lower carbon opportunities.

Introducing the Advancing Low Carbon accreditation programme

Each activity supports one of our low carbon ambitions – by reducing emissions in our operations, improving our products or creating low carbon businesses. These activities take place through our own businesses, as well as in partnership with others.

Deloitte conducts independent assurance on the Advancing Low Carbon activities, including assessing the application of BP’s process and criteria for accrediting activities, and GHG emissions offset and saved within the programme.

See bp.com/advancinglowcarbon for more details on our accreditation programme.

Calling for a price on carbon

We believe that well-designed carbon pricing provides the right incentives for everyone – energy producers and consumers alike – to play their part in reducing emissions. It makes energy efficiency more attractive and makes low carbon solutions, such as renewables and carbon capture, use and storage, more cost competitive. Pricing carbon adds a cost to our industry’s production and our products – but it also benefits the sector by providing a roadmap for future investment and a level playing field for all energy sources.

We think a well-designed price on carbon is the most efficient way to reduce GHG emissions and we have set out our carbon pricing principles at bp.com/carbonpricing. They include our view that a price on carbon should:

  • Apply to all quantifiable GHG emissions in all sectors of the economy on a CO2 equivalent basis.
  • Pre-empt future and replace existing regulations that overlap or duplicate the carbon price.
  • Prevent the shifting of emissions and jobs from one country or jurisdiction to another.

We have engaged with policymakers in Europe, in relation to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, and in Australia, China and Canada.

We are members of the US-based Climate Leadership Council and the international Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition – two groups that advocate for carbon pricing.

Internal carbon price

We use a carbon price when evaluating our plans for certain large new projects and also those for which emissions costs would be a material part of the project. This is currently $40 per tonne of CO2 equivalent, with a stress test at a carbon price of $80 per tonne. Until late January 2019 we used these specific prices in industrialized countries, but have now expanded this to apply globally.

A shared challenge

To meet the Paris goals, we believe the world must take strong action on a range of fronts:

  • Reducing emissions rather than promoting one energy source as the answer.
  • Improving energy efficiency.
  • Using and deploying new technologies, such as carbon capture, use and storage.
  • Putting a price on carbon to help drive action in an efficient and cost-effective way.

If we respond collectively, even a challenge as complex as climate change can be overcome.

BP is dedicated to being part of the solution.