BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switching to Renewables

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    Reuters reports on big changes at BP (the company formerly known as British Petroleum): Its geologists, engineers and scientists have been cut to less than 100 from a peak of more than 700 a few years ago, company sources told Reuters, part of a climate change-driven overhaul triggered last year by CEO Bernard Looney. “The winds have turned very chilly in the exploration team since Looney’s arrival. This is happening incredibly fast,” a senior member of the team told Reuters. Hundreds have left the oil exploration team in recent months, either transferred to help develop new low-carbon activities or laid off, current and former employees said. The exodus is the starkest sign yet from inside the company of its rapid shift away from oil and gas, which will nevertheless be its main source of cash to finance a switch to renewables for at least the next decade. BP declined to comment on the staffing changes, which have not been publicly disclosed… Looney made his intentions clear internally and externally by lowering BP’s production targets and becoming the first oil major CEO to promote this as a positive to investors seeking a long-term vision for a lower-carbon economy. BP is cutting some 10,000 jobs, around 15% of its workforce, under Looney’s restructuring, the most aggressive among Europe’s oil giants including Royal Dutch Shell and Total. The 50-year-old, a veteran oil engineer who previously headed the oil and gas exploration and production division, aims to cut output by 1 million barrels per day, or 40%, over the next decade while growing renewable energy output 20 fold. Elsewhere Reuters reports that due to the pandemic, acquisitions of new onshore and offshore exploration licences for the top five Western energy companies “dropped to the lowest in at least five years,” citing data from Oslo-based consultancy Rystad Energy. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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