BP Realigns Strategy With Market Realities

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Reality has set in for BP’s envelope-pushing energy transition strategy. The UK major elicited both applause and heckles in 2020 when it unveiled plans to aggressively cut oil and gas production and execute one of the industry’s biggest renewable electricity buildouts, all while showering shareholders with growing returns. But the world’s energy transition is proving more complicated than expected, forcing BP to recalibrate — even if the broad tenets of its strategy remain in place. Equity analysts and industry players alike raised early questions regarding BP’s ability to square the circle around new CEO Bernard Looney’s bold strategy. Tellingly, BP’s strategic amendments unveiled this week entail: (1) a slower upstream decline and scrapped targets to shrink refining; (2) shifting its renewables focus to higher-margin biofuels and hydrogen as well as offshore wind; and (3) higher capital spending in both oil and gas and low carbon. The changes are expected to offer greater assurance for growing shareholder returns, especially given cut ties with Rosneft. BP’s 19.75% stake lifted its equity production by 50% and provided hundreds of millions of dollars in annual dividends.

Hydrogen, Corporate Strategy , Capital Spending, Majors, ESG, Biofuels (incl. SAF), Renewable Electricity
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