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BP Shifts Focus to Oil and Gas, Halts Renewables Expansion

Quiver Editor

BP (BP) has implemented a hiring freeze and paused new offshore wind projects as its new CEO Murray Auchincloss shifts focus back to oil and gas investments, aiming to address investor concerns over the company’s energy transition strategy. These changes mark a significant departure from the aggressive shift to renewables championed by former CEO Bernard Looney. Auchincloss and CFO Kate Thomson are prioritizing investments in high-return oil and gas assets, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico and U.S. shale basins, while still considering investments in biofuels and low-carbon businesses with short-term returns.

The decision to slow down investments in large-scale renewables projects, especially those that are not expected to generate cash in the near term, comes as BP reassesses its strategy amid soaring profits from oil and gas. The company has reallocated resources to ongoing projects and is expected to make some job cuts in the renewables sector. BP’s shares have underperformed compared to rivals, adding pressure on Auchincloss to deliver better returns and reassure investors.

Market Overview:
  • BP imposes a company-wide hiring freeze and pauses new offshore wind projects.
  • Shift in focus to high-return oil and gas investments.
  • Investor pressure due to underperformance of BP shares.
Key Points:
  • BP reallocates resources to ongoing projects and high-return oil and gas assets.
  • Some job cuts expected in renewables, with a company-wide hiring freeze.
  • BP aims to balance decarbonization efforts with rising near-term fossil fuel demand.
Looking Ahead:
  • Monitoring BP’s strategy shift and its impact on financial performance.
  • Evaluating the success of BP’s high-return oil and gas investments.
  • Assessing the long-term sustainability of BP’s energy transition strategy.

Under Auchincloss, BP is also expected to make job cuts in the renewables sector, although no specific targets have been announced. The company continues to emphasize high-value projects and cost efficiencies, with a $2 billion cost-saving drive planned by the end of 2026. BP's renewed focus on oil and gas is further underscored by recent acquisitions, such as the $1.4 billion purchase of Bunge’s (BG) stake in their Brazilian sugar and ethanol joint venture, BP Bunge Bioenergia.

BP has also hired new staff to its exploration team, aiming to replenish its reserves and sustain output. The company has reassigned dozens of employees to ongoing projects and is allocating more capital to developing new fields in the Gulf of Mexico. These moves reflect BP's strategy to ensure long-term profitability while navigating the complex energy transition landscape.

About the Author

David Love is an editor at Quiver Quantitative, with a focus on global markets and breaking news. Prior to joining Quiver, David was the CEO of Winter Haven Capital.

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