BP plans to boost its nat­u­ral gas busi­ness in sus­tain­able en­ergy push

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By LYUCHANG lvchang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The United King­dom-based oil and gas gi­ant BP Plc plans to in­crease its busi­ness in the nat­u­ral gas sec­tor as a part of ef­forts to limit cli­mate change, a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive said onWed­nes­day.

“We are build­ing a more re­silient port­fo­lio with a grow­ing nat­u­ral gas com­po­nent to sup­port ac­tions of the Paris agree­ment on cli­mate change,” said David Ey­ton, chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer at BP in Bei­jing.

An­other rea­son for BP in­creas­ing its role in nat­u­ral gas will be its fore­cast of a sig­nif­i­cant vol­ume of fos­sil fu­els, such as nat­u­ral gas, which will still be used as part of the tran­si­tion to a more sus­tain­able fu­ture en­ergy mix.

“Nat­u­ral gas is prob­a­bly the best op­tion as a sub­sti­tute for coal and for bal­anc­ing the power grid with sup­ply and de­mand of re­new­able en­er­gies such as so­lar power and wind power,” he said.

Ey­ton made the re­marks dur­ing a meet­ing in Bei­jing for the re­lease of a BP tech­nol­ogy out­look by 2050.

The re­port said that emerg­ing and ex­ist­ing tech­nolo­gies could nearly dou­ble the world’s proven oil and gas re­serves, which will sur­pass the en­ergy de­mand pro­jec­tion by 2050 and be­yond.

It said that by us­ing ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies, proven oil and gas re­sources from dis­cov­ered fields could in­crease from 2.9 tril­lion bar­rels of oil equiv­a­lent to 4.8 tril­lion bar­rels, and that will ex­ceed the world’s de­mand for en­ergy of about 2.5 tril­lion bar­rels.

“The world is not run­ning out of re­sources for its en­ergy needs. Fos­sil fu­els of oil, gas and coal, along with ura­nium, are plen­ti­ful while the al­ter­na­tives of re­new­able en­er­gies do not de­plete by def­i­ni­tion,” it said.

The re­port came at a time when oil prices fell below $30 a bar­rel on Tues­day for the first time in 12 years in theUnited States due to anum­ber of fac­tors that in­clude high stock­pile of global oil mar­ket, slug­gish econ­omy and the ris­ing US dol­lar.

With sharply fall­ing crude oil prices which have squeezed the prof­its of many oil gi­ants, BP is go­ing through a “sim­pli­fi­ca­tion plan” to re­shape its port­fo­lio and make it more ef­fi­cient.

“We are im­prov­ing the ef­fi­ciency of our op­er­a­tion and prod­ucts, and also fo­cus on tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ment that is the most valu­able mea­sure fac­ing the en­vi­ron­ment,” said Ey­ton.

At the same time, an abun­dance of sup­ply and a fall in de­mand growth have driven en­ergy prices down, cou­pled with global pledges to limit the amount of green­house gases, re­new­able en­er­gies are likely to play an in­creas­ing role in the fu­ture en­ergy con­sump­tion.

Ey­ton said BP is a ma­jor in­vestor in wind power and bio-fu­els with 2.6 gi­gawatts of wind power in North Amer­ica and three large bio-eth­yl­ene mills in Brazil.

“But we are still learn­ing by do­ing in places where th­ese busi­nesses can be prof­itable,” he said, adding that the big chal­lenge is to ad­dress the im­pact of the in­ter­mit­tency es­pe­cially on so­lar power and wind power in man­ag­ing the power grid.

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