BP has been one of the more vocal big oil companies when it comes to ESG pledges. The company was the first integrated oil major to announce its goal to be carbon neutral by 2050. Initially met with skepticism due to a lack of details, BP has since outlined specific targets. It plans to redirect 40% of its investments toward low-carbon solutions by 2030. Also by 2030, it wants to develop a total of 50 GW of net renewable energy capacity, own a 10% share in core hydrogen markets, open 70,000 electric vehicle charging points, reduce its oil and gas production by 40%, and reduce operational emissions by between 30% and 50%.
In more recent news, BP announced it would end flaring in the Permian Basin, named a new low-carbon energy Vice President, and partnered with EnBW to target Scottish wind projects.
Yet despite its longer-term goals and recent developments, BP is still expanding its oil and gas projects. Which begs the question, how will BP reach carbon neutrality if it’s still growing its oil and gas portfolio?
On Tuesday, BP announced the startup of its Thunder Horse South Expansion Phase 2 project. The project is expected to reach peak production of 25,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) from its first two wells before growing to eight wells. BP has plans to grow its overall Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production to 400,000 boe/d by the mid part of the decade. Thunder Horse, in its entirety, is BP’s largest production and drilling platform in the Gulf, designed to process 250,000 barrels of oil and 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. BP has a 75% working interest in the project and ExxonMobil holds the other 25%.
“This has been a pivotal year for our Gulf of Mexico business as we continue to start up new projects,” said Starlee Sykes, BP senior vice president. “Bringing high-margin, resilient barrels online in basins we know best is central to BP’s strategy. Our team has consistently and safely delivered during a pandemic — and with over a million hours worked without a safety incident, this project is no exception. I could not be prouder of the team.”
“This is another significant milestone for BP, completing the delivery of our planned major projects for 2021,” said Ewan Drummond, BP senior vice president of projects, production, and operations. “I am extremely proud of the entire team and their commitment to the safe startup of Thunder Horse South Expansion Phase 2. This project is a great example of the type of fast-payback, high-return tie-back opportunities we continue to deliver as we focus and high-grade our portfolio.”