Back To Petroleum: BP Is Scaling Back Its Green Investments Amid Disappointing Performance

The BP logo is seen at a BP gas station in Manhattan, New York City

Back To Petroleum: BP Is Scaling Back Its Green Investments Amid Disappointing Performance

John Hugh DeMastri on February 1, 2023

CEO Bernard Looney of British oil giant BP has expressed plans to scale down the firm’s green energy investments as some have struggled to meet expectations, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

Looney intends to deemphasize ESG objectives and reassure investors that the company is focused on using its competitive advantages — including in oil and gas — to maximize returns, the WSJ reported. Though he has expressed disappointment in the performance of some green investments, Looney has characterized the move as a short-term readjustment and a BP spokesman referred the WSJ to previous statements the company has made stressing its commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

BP, alongside fellow British oil giant Shell, has struggled to keep up with U.S. competitors, with shares in the U.S.-based Exxon Mobil nearly doubling since January 2020 while BP’s have climbed just 7%, the WSJ reported. BP has been held back in part by the stricter regulations on oil and gas investments by European governments, while its American counterparts, like Exxon and Chevron, have remained focused on their oil and gas.

While BP will continue to invest in renewable energy, it will scale back investments to avoid overspending and overreliance on renewables, the WSJ reported. Looney has reportedly said that solar and offshore wind are less likely to see continued investment, while projects in hydrogen, biogas and electric vehicle charging networks will likely continue to see funding.

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The energy company intends to cut its fossil-fuel output to 40% of its 2019 levels by 2030, while “transition growth businesses” like renewable energy and convenience stores are scheduled to account for 50% of capital spending by the same time, the WSJ reported. BP executives have previously argued that renewable energy would be more stable than oil and gas in the long-term.

“One of the misconceptions about our strategy is that we’re going from oil to renewables,” Looney said in a February 2022 interview, according to the WSJ. “That is not what we’re doing.”

BP did not immediately respond to a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.

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