The Most Amazing Quote From BP’s Q2 Earnings Call
Green Energy

The Most Amazing Quote From BP’s Q2 Earnings Call

The oil and gas giant’s CEO spent a lot of time on…renewables?

John Bromels

Energy, Materials, and Utilities

When you think of big oil companies like BP (NYSE:BP) or ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), you might think about their service stations. Or you might think about their large refineries, or their oil wells, both on- and offshore. What you probably don’t think about is green energy.

But BP and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-A) (NYSE:RDS-B) do make investments in renewable energy. However, those investments usually don’t receive a lot of attention. That’s why it’s so surprising that BP CEO Bob Dudley put the company’s renewable efforts front and center in BP’s Q2 earnings call. 

Here’s what he said and why it’s so remarkable.

An electric car charges on a U.K. street

BP Chargemaster is one of the biggest electric vehicle charging providers in Europe. Image source: Getty Images.

What he said

Right at the top of his prepared remarks, Dudley let the analysts know he was going to talk about the company’s renewable energy efforts, saying, “I also want to talk about the focus we’re giving to the energy transition and our low-carbon agenda.”

And talk about them he did. In fact, Dudley spent more time discussing BP’s green energy initiatives than he did talking about the entire rest of BP’s business. I can’t quote the entire thing here without turning this into a 2,000-word monstrosity. If you’re interested, though, you can read a full transcript of the remarks here

But here’s one portion of his summary of the company’s green initiatives:

We have a lot going on, both in terms of existing renewable energy businesses as well as our investment in new low-carbon activity. … This year, we will invest more than $500 million of capital, which is more than the total annual capital expenditure for each of the companies in the lower half of the FTSE 100.

Our activity spans a number of renewable energy businesses — renewable fuels, renewable products, wind energy, solar energy, and biopower, including in biofuels and in biopower through the joint venture with Bunge, … in wind energy, where we have a leading portfolio in the U.S. onshore sector and, as mentioned, in solar, where our investment in Lightsource BP is growing rapidly with the ambition of reaching 8 gigawatts of installed solar capacity by 2022, enough to power more than 2 million homes.

Beyond our renewable energy businesses, we are also actively developing low-carbon businesses and customer offers across our five focus areas. We are participating in a number of ways through direct equity investments to supporting start-ups or developing our own projects. 

Dudley is right: Half a billion dollars of capital in a year toward green projects is nothing to sneeze at. And those investments include a number of major projects like:

  • Lightsource BP, the company’s solar business, which has a presence in 10 countries and recently acquired 1.9 gigawatts of greenfield solar projects.
  • BP Bunge Bioenergia, a joint venture with agricultural company Bunge, which will expand the company’s existing Brazilian biofuels busine