BP chief urges more oil and gas investment to avoid price spikes

Accelerating energy transition should also be a priority for countries

Bernard Looney, chief executive of BP, addresses the gathering on the second day of the three-day B20 Summit in New Delhi.  AFP
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BP's chief executive said on Saturday that the world must invest in the production of oil and gas to avoid price spikes while accelerating the energy transition to combat greenhouse gas emissions.

“We need to do both. We need to invest in today's energy system responsibly and, at the same time, we must invest in accelerating energy transition,” Bernard Looney told the B20 conference in New Delhi.

Global gas prices surged seven-fold last year as 3 per cent of global gas supplies were hit following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, forcing countries to boost energy spending and shift to coal, Mr Looney said.

Energy transition has to be orderly to maintain its pace as emission levels have risen since the Paris conference on climate change in 2015, despite global efforts, he said.

The Paris-based International Energy Agency watchdog expects global oil demand to hit a record 2.2 million barrels per day this year.

Mr Looney said his company would invest 40 per cent of its capital on energy transition projects by the middle of this decade and 50 per cent by the end of the decade. “We will invest between $55 and $65 billion as BP this decade in energy transition growth engines,” he said.

BP, investing in energy projects in India along with its partner Reliance Industries, has set up about 3,000 electric vehicle charging points to date, up from 750 in January. The two have set up 300 battery swapping stations.

BP has invested in India's gas sector, and its venture arm has bought a stake in electric ride-hailing start-up BluSmart.

“I have every expectation that we will do more in India in years to come,” Mr Looney said.

Updated: August 26, 2023, 12:51 PM