CEO: Robert Dudley; Revenues: $375.58 Billion (2012); Employees: 85,700 (2012)
BP is one of the world’s leading international oil and gas companies. It provides customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to keep engines moving, and the petrochemicals products used to make everyday items as diverse as paints, clothes and packaging.
Its interests and activities comprise two business segments: Upstream manages BP’s exploration, development and production activities; Downstream operates hydrocarbon value chains covering three main businesses – fuels, lubricants and petrochemicals. BP’s activities in low-carbon energy are managed through its Alternative Energy business, which is reported within other businesses and corporate. BP operates in more than 80 countries and is headquartered in London, United Kingdom.
The United States is a major focus area for BP, who is the region’s largest energy investor, having spent $55 billion in the last five years. BP is also one of the leading producers and suppliers of oil and natural gas in the US; primary production operations are located in Alaska, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming and the US Gulf of Mexico. BP also currently operates large, modern refineries in Cherry Point, Wash.; Whiting, Ind. and Toledo, Ohio. These installations produce a wide range of fuels, petrochemicals and lubricants for America’s highway and rail transportation; industry; home, commercial and institutional heating; power generation, and airlines.
BP Alternative Energy’s US investments include its wind fleet, comprising 16 operational wind farms in nine states. Since 2006, BP has committed more than $2 billion to biofuels research, development and operations. This includes its investment in the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI), the world’s first research center solely dedicated to applying biotechnology to energy. The EBI is collaboration between BP, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Universities of California and Illinois. In San Diego, California, BP has created, a Global Biofuels Technology Center which develops cost-effective bioconversion technologies to produce cellulosic biofuels. Butamax Advanced Biofuels, a joint venture between BP and DuPont, is developing the next generation biofuel, biobutanol, which enables blending with conventional fuels in higher proportions without vehicle modification.
Climate and Energy Targets
BP has a comprehensive program of action to understand and manage the risks and opportunities resulting from carbon and climate risk. This includes:
BP Energy Outlook 2030 looks at future global and regional patterns of energy demand and supply. It summarizes BP’s view of what the energy world might look like in the future. This does not necessarily reveal a future BP would like to see, but it is the future thought to be the most likely, or that is plausible. This analysis, along with other BP-sponsored assessments such as the Energy Sustainability Challenge, and external assessments such as the IEA’s World Energy Outlook, aids decisions on the types and location of resource development, and what technologies will be needed to develop them safely and efficiently.
- Lower-Carbon Energy Development
BP sees natural gas as a key part of the lower-carbon economy, as it is a plentiful resource that releases less carbon dioxide (CO2) than other fossil fuels when burned. Most importantly, the technologies needed to produce and use it are widely available today. BP is playing a major role in the growth of natural gas with production in the US, Trinidad & Tobago, Indonesia, Algeria, Oman and Egypt. They are developing important supply chains to Europe, as well as to China and India, two countries that could make up more than half of global energy demand growth by 2030. BP continues to invest strategically in alternative energy, with $1 billion invested in 2012.
BP factors a carbon cost into its investment appraisals and engineering designs for some projects where appropriate. This is done in order to assess, and protect the value of, new investments under future scenarios in which the cost of carbon emissions is higher than it is today. BP requires larger projects, and those for which emissions costs would be a material part of the project, to apply a standard carbon cost to the projected GHG emissions over the life of the project. The standard cost is based on BP’s estimate of the carbon price that might realistically be expected in particular parts of the world. In industrialized countries, this standard cost assumption is currently $40 per tonne of CO2 equivalent. BP uses this cost as a basis for assessing the economic value of the investment and as one consideration in optimizing the way the project is engineered with respect to emissions.
- Efficiency in Company Operations
BP seeks to increase energy efficiency across the company by requiring its existing operations to incorporate energy use considerations in their business plans and to assess, prioritize and implement technologies and systems to improve energy usage. An example is BP’s Tangguh liquefied natural gas operation in Indonesia, which uses combined heat and power in the liquefaction plant that turns gas into liquid. This recovers the waste heat and uses it in steam generators to produce power, as well as using the remaining low-grade heat for the operation’s heating requirements. This has resulted in lower fuel consumption, fewer emissions and reduced maintenance of machinery.
- Efficient Fuels and Engine Oils for BP Customers
BP works in partnership with vehicle and equipment manufacturers to improve the overall efficiency of use of its fuels and engine oils. For example, Ford’s ECOnetic cars – including the Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo models – are engineered with specially formulated advanced Castrol engine oils, which improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. In India, where the passenger car market is experiencing strong growth, BP is working with Suzuki Motor Corporation to improve the fuel economy of its vehicles.
- Technology and Policy Research
Through in-house research and in partnership with leading academics, BP is deepening its understanding of future energy trends and climate change. For example, BP invests in the UK Energy Technologies Institute and it supports energy and climate policy research at universities including Oxford, Princeton, Tsinghua, Berkeley, Illinois, Harvard, the University of California, San Diego, MIT and Tufts.
BP engages with governments, non-governmental organizations, industry organizations, universities and other companies on issues relating to climate change. In 2012, BP attended the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, where they became a founding signatory of the WEF Energy for Society initiative. BP signed the Carbon Price Challenge Communiqué, that calls for a price on carbon.
- Climate Change Adaptation
BP is taking steps to prepare for the potential physical impacts of climate change on its existing and future operations. BP is working closely with Imperial College in the UK to develop specialized climate models that help the company to better understand and predict possible impacts resulting from the changing climate.
Projects implementing BP’s environmental and social practices are required to assess the potential impacts to the project from the changing climate and manage any identified significant potential impacts. Where climate change impacts are identified as a risk for a project, BP engineers seek to address them in the project design like any other physical and ecological hazard. BP periodically reviews and adjusts existing design criteria and engineering technology practices. For example, a regional climate model was used in 2012 to inform decisions on the depth of cover required for river crossings for the South Caucasus Pipeline and to review any risks associated with landslides.
BP regularly updates and improves its climate impact modelling tools and makes them available to both new projects and existing operations. An internal guide, available to both existing operations and projects, has been in place since 2010. It sets out guidance on how to assess potential risks and impacts from a changing climate to enable mitigation steps to be incorporated into project planning, design and operations.
Did You Know?
BP is engaged in a range of climate related initiatives. Below are links to several case studies:
- Reducing Emissions in the Norwegian North Sea
BP is in the final phases of the redevelopment of the Valhall oil field in the Norwegian North Sea, where it has replaced existing on-site energy generation facilities with a power-from-shore. Electricity generation in Norway is currently almost entirely from hydroelectric power plants and is therefore virtually emission free. Once operational this system is expected to result in the Valhall field reducing emissions by around 280,000 tons of CO2 per year – and around 5.6 million tons over the next 20 years.
- Laying the Foundations for Long-Term Carbon Capture and Storage
In the long term, BP sees large-scale carbon capture and storage – which involves CO2 from energy production and other industrial processes being stored safely underground rather than being released into the atmosphere – as a critical technology that the world will need to reduce emissions while also meeting growing energy demand.
BP Corporate Website
BP Sustainability Website