This is all part of a climate change-driven reform initiated in 2020 by the company’s CEO, Bernard Looney, where he announced BP’s ambition to be a net zero company by 2050 and to help the world get to net zero. It also set out a new strategy for the 111-year-old company, with the aim of increasing low-carbon investment tenfold, reducing oil and gas production by 40% and reducing emissions by 35% to 40%, all by 2030. It is a bold step in the right direction, Looney added.
Hundreds of workers have left the oil exploration team of geologists, engineers and scientists in recent months. Some have been transferred to help develop new low-carbon activities and others have been laid off, ensuring a combined number of active and absent employees for the company.
At this point we can see more clearly how the dismissal of BP’s non-renewable energy staff is the strongest sign that BP is moving rapidly towards renewables, regardless of whether oil and gas remain its main source of funding.
According to Reuters, BP did not comment on the personnel changes, which have not yet been made public. However, company sources say that exploration teams in Moscow and Houston were dismantled, as well as BP’s research headquarters in Sunbury, near London.
Looney reduced BP’s production targets and became the first CEO of a major oil company to promote this as a positive for investors seeking a long-term vision for a low-carbon economy. He announced that BP would reduce production by 1 million barrels per day while increasing renewable energy production 20-fold.
In this time frame we see how the actions taken by BP have impacted. They hit a 25-year low at the end of 2020 and fell 44 percent for the year, mainly because of doubts about whether it will be able to transform itself and make the profits it seeks.
The focus has narrowed to finding new resources near existing oil and gas fields to offset production declines and minimize spending. Although global exploration activity slowed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the downturn at BP was mainly due to its change in vision.