Over the past six years BP has delivered around $75 billion of divestments, focused investment to build a distinctive and balanced portfolio, and improved safety, reliability and underlying performance. Group chief executive Bob Dudley and his management team are now setting out plans to 2021, demonstrating how BP plans to deliver growth throughout its businesses over the next five years.
Bob Dudley said: “In six years we have fundamentally reshaped and built a very different BP. We are now stronger and more focused - fully competitive and fit for a fast-changing future.
“We have proven financial discipline, clear plans in action and have built a distinctive portfolio which gives us a strong platform for growth, now and into the future. Striking a balance between short and long-term value, our recent acquisitions and agreements have strengthened this even further.
“We can see growth ahead right across the Group. While always maintaining our discipline on costs and capital, BP is now getting back to growth – today, over the medium term and over the very long term.”
Over the next five years BP expects both of its major operating segments to deliver material growth in operating cash flows while the Group maintains its existing financial frame. In the Upstream, growth is expected to come from a continuing series of major higher-margin project start-ups, while the Downstream expects to deliver strong marketing-led growth, both underpinned by BP’s continued focus on safe and reliable operations, increasing efficiency, simplification and modernisation.
Production ramping up from new Upstream projects is expected to deliver a material improvement in BP’s operating cash flow through the second half of 2017.
BP intends to maintain its existing financial frame throughout the five years to 2021, with organic capital expenditure kept within a range of $15-17 billion a year and the target band for gearing remaining at 20-30%.
Brian Gilvary, BP chief financial officer, said: “Last year we delivered our targeted $7 billion reduction in cash costs a year early, and capital spending was $8.6 billion lower than its peak in 2013 – without damaging our growth pipeline. We will continue that tight focus on costs and capital discipline and seek further improvements throughout the Group.
“We expect this combination of continued cost discipline with the growing cash flow from our core businesses - and the recent portfolio additions - will steadily drive down the cash balance point of the business. Over the next five years we expect this to fall to around $35-40 a barrel for the Group overall.”
Volume and margin growth throughout BP’s businesses are expected to increase returns over the next five years. Assuming a stable price environment and portfolio, BP now expects return on average capital employed (ROACE) for the Group to recover steadily over the next few years and to be over 10% by 2021.
Over the past five years BP’s Upstream segment has begun production from 24 major projects, including six in 2016. Seven projects are expected online during 2017 - making it one of the largest years for commissioning new projects in BP’s history. These projects are on average ahead of schedule and below budget. A further nine projects that are expected to start up through 2018-2021 are already under construction.
The projects coming on line in 2016 and 2017 are on track to deliver 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boe/d) new production capacity by the end of this year.
The new Upstream projects remain on track to deliver 800,000 boe/d of new production by 2020, as previously guided. On average, the new projects are also expected to have operating cash margins 35% higher than the average of BP’s Upstream portfolio in 2015.
More than 200,000 boe/d of production is expected by the end of the decade from the recent additions to BP’s portfolio – primarily from the ADCO onshore concession.
This strong pipeline means that BP is now confident that Upstream production will grow from 2016 by an average of 5% a year out to 2021. BP Group production, including BP’s share of production from Rosneft, is expected to be around 4 million boe/d by 2021.
With capital investment kept steady and increasingly efficient operations and modernisation driving costs lower, BP now estimates that this growth will enable the Upstream segment to generate $13-14 billion of pre-tax free cash flow by 2021, at oil prices around $55 a barrel.
BP’s Downstream segment has delivered $3 billion sustainable reductions in cash costs since 2014 – halving the refining margin needed for the segment to deliver a pre-tax return of 15%.
In its refining and petrochemicals manufacturing businesses, BP expects the Downstream to deliver further performance improvements by continuing to focus on efficiency and operational performance, improving both competitiveness and resilience to the price and margin environment. Underlying earnings from the manufacturing businesses in 2021 are expected to be $2.5 billion higher than in 2014.
BP also expects significant earnings growth from its Downstream marketing businesses, with underlying earnings in 2021 more than $3 billion higher than in 2014. In lubricants, growth is expected to come from increasing the sales mix of premium lubricants, exposure to growth markets and BP and Castrol’s differentiated offers, brands and technologies. In BP’s fuels marketing activities, particularly retail, growth is expected to come through premium fuels, differentiated convenience partnerships – such as the recent agreement with Woolworths in Australia - and access to growth markets.
Combined with the ongoing focus on simplification and efficiency throughout the segment, BP believes this growth will enable the Downstream to deliver $9-10 billion of pre-tax free cash flow by 2021, with returns of around 20% in 2021.
Beyond the next five years, BP’s strategy also aims to ensure that the company continues to meet the energy demands of a changing world.
BP’s Alternative Energy business – comprising US Wind and Brazilian biofuels – is already the largest operated renewables business among oil and gas peer companies and BP is further optimising and improving efficiency to deliver incremental growth. In Wind BP is upgrading some of its existing turbines and, in biofuels, has debottlenecked manufacturing sites to increase production.
BP is also exploring new business models and technologies which may potentially develop into options for material businesses in the future, with investment into venturing in areas such as low-carbon, digital and mobility to incubate and grow options for the future.
BP press office, London: +44 (0)20 7496 4076, [email protected]
In order to utilize the ‘safe harbor’ provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the ‘PSLRA’), BP is providing the following cautionary statement. This press release contains certain forward-looking statements concerning expectations that Upstream and Downstream pre-tax cash flow will reach $13-14 billion (at an oil price of $55 per barrel) and $9-10 billion, respectively in 2021; plans and expectations to maintain organic capital spending at $15-16 billion per year and gearing between 20% and 30%; plans and expectations to start up 7 projects 2017 and 9 projects between 2018 and 2021; expectations to reach an oil price cash balance point at around $35-40 per barrel over the next five years; expectations that return on average capital employed will exceed 10% in 2021; expectations that Upstream growth will come from higher-margin project start-ups and Downstream growth will come from marketing; expectations that production ramp-up from new Upstream projects will deliver improvement in operating cash flow through the second half of 2017; expectations that Upstream projects coming on line in 2016 and 2017 will add approximately 500 thousand barrels per day of new oil equivalent production in 2017 and 800 thousand barrels per day of new oil equivalent production by 2020; expectations that new Upstream projects will average approximately 35% better margins than the 2015 portfolio; expectations that Upstream additions will add more than 200 thousand barrels per day of oil equivalent production by the end of the decade primarily from the ADCO onshore concession and Zohr in Egypt; expectations that Upstream production will grow at an average of 5% per year to 2021; expectations that BP Group production will be 4 million boe/d by 2021; expectations that underlying earnings from the Downstream manufacturing businesses in 2021 will be $2.5 billion higher than in 2014; expectations that underlying earnings of BP’s Downstream marketing business will be $3 billion higher in 2021 than in 2014; expectations that the Downstream lubricants business will grow due to product mix and differentiated offers, brands and technologies; and expectations that the Downstream fuels business will grow due to sales of premium fuels, convenience partnerships such as the agreement with Woolworths in Australia and access to growth markets. Actual results may differ from those expressed in such statements, depending on a variety of factors including changes in public expectations and other changes to business conditions; the timing, quantum and nature of divestments; the receipt of relevant third-party and/or regulatory approvals; future levels of industry product supply; demand and pricing; OPEC quota restrictions; PSA effects; operational problems; regulatory or legal actions; economic and financial conditions generally or in various countries and regions; political stability and economic growth in relevant areas of the world; changes in laws and governmental regulations; exchange rate fluctuations; development and use of new technology; the success or otherwise of partnering; the actions of competitors, trading partners and others; natural disasters and adverse weather conditions; wars and acts of terrorism, cyber-attacks or sabotage; and other factors discussed under “Principal risks and uncertainties” in our Stock Exchange Announcement for the period ended 30 June 2016 and under "Risk factors" in our Annual Report and Form 20-F 2015.
This press release contains references to non-proved resources and production outlooks based on non-proved resources that the SEC's rules prohibit us from including in our filings with the SEC. U.S. investors are urged to consider closely the disclosures in our Form 20-F, SEC File No. 1-06262. This form is available on our website at www.bp.com. You can also obtain this form from the SEC by calling 1-800-SEC-0330 or by logging on to their website at www.sec.gov
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Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory
In both 2019 and 2020, project developers in the United States installed more wind power capacity than any other generating technology. According to data recently published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory, annual wind turbine capacity additions in the United States set a record in 2020, totaling 14.2 gigawatts (GW) and surpassing the previous record of 13.2 GW added in 2012. After this record year for wind turbine capacity additions, total wind turbine capacity in the United States is now 118 GW.
The impending phaseout of the full value of the U.S. production tax credit (PTC) at the end of 2020 primarily drove investments in wind turbine capacity that year, just as previous tax credit reductions led to significant wind capacity additions in 2012 and 2019. In December 2020, Congress extended the PTC for another year.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly
Texas has the most wind turbine capacity among states: 30.2 GW were installed as of December 2020. In 2020, Texas generated more electricity from wind than the next three highest states (Iowa, Oklahoma, and Kansas) combined. However, Texas generates and consumes more total electricity than any other state, and wind remains slightly less than 20% of the state’s electricity generation mix.
In two other states—Iowa and Kansas—wind is the most prevalent source of in-state electricity generation. In both states, wind surpassed coal as the state’s top electricity generation source in 2019.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly
Nationally, 8.4% of utility-scale electricity generation in 2020 came from wind turbines. Many of the turbines added in late 2020 will contribute to increases in wind-powered electricity generation in 2021. EIA expects wind’s share of electricity generation to increase to 10% in 2021, according to forecasts in EIA’s most recent Short-Term Energy Outlook.
It was a good run while it lasted. Almost exactly a decade ago, the military junta in Myanmar was dissolved, following civilian elections. The country’s figurehead, Aung San Suu Kyi, was released from house arrest to lead, following in the footsteps of her father. Although her reputation has since been tarnished with the Rohingya crisis, she remains beloved by most of her countrymen, and her installation as Myanmar’s de facto leader lead to a golden economic age. Sanctions were eased, trade links were restored, and investment flowed in, not least in the energy sector. Yet the military still remained a powerful force, lurking in the background. In early February, they bared their fangs. Following an election in November 2020 in which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won an outright majority in both houses of Parliament. A coup d’etat was instigated, with the Tatmadaw – the Burmese military – decrying fraud in the election. Key politicians were arrested, and rule returned to the military.
For many Burmese, this was a return to a dark past that many thought was firmly behind them. Widespread protests erupted, quickly turning violent. The Tatmadaw still has an iron grip, but it has created some bizarre situations – ordinary Burmese citizens calling on Facebook and foreign governments to impose sanctions on their country, while the Myanmar ambassador to the United Nations was fired for making an anti-army speech at the UN General Assembly.
The path forward for Myanmar from this point is unclear. The Tatmadaw has declared a state of emergency lasting up to a year, promising new elections by the end of 2021. There is little doubt that the NLD will win yet another supermajority in the election, IF they are fair and free. But that is a big if. Meanwhile, the coup threatens to return Myanmar to the pariah state that it was pre-2010. And threatens to abort all the grand economic progress made since.
In the decade since military rule was abolished, development in Myanmar has been rapid. In the capital city Yangon, glittering new malls have been developed. The Ministry of Energy in 2009 was housed in a crumbling former high school; today, it occupies a sprawling complex in the new administrative capital of Naypyidaw. While not exactly up to the level of the Department of Energy in Washington DC, it is certainly no longer than ministry that was once reputed to take up to three years to process exploration licences for offshore oil and gas blocks.
And it is that very future that is now at stake. Energy has been a great focus for investment in Myanmar, drawn by the rich offshore deposits in the Andaman Sea and the country’s location as a possible pipeline route between the Middle East and inland China. Estimates suggest that – based on pre-coup trends – Myanmar was likely to attract over US$1.1 billion in upstream investment in 2023, more than four times projected for 2021 and almost 20 times higher than 2011. The funds would not only be directed at maintaining production at the current Yadana, Yetagun, Zawtika and Shwe gas fields – where offshore production is mainly exported to Thailand, but also upcoming megaprojects such as Woodside and Total’s A-6 deepwater natural gas and PTTEP’s Aung Sinka Block M3 developments.
The coup now presents foreign investors in Myanmar’s upstream energy sector with a conundrum and reputational risk. Stay, and risk being seen as abetting an undemocratic government? Or leave, and risk being flushing away years of hard work? The home governments of foreign investors such as Total, Chevron, PTTEP, Woodside, Petronas, ONGC, Nippon Oil, Kogas, POSCO, Sumitomo, Mitsui and others have already condemned the coup. For now these companies are hoping that foreign pressure will resolve the situation in a short enough timeframe to allow business to resume. Australia’s Woodside Petroleum has already called the coup a ‘transitionary issue’ claiming that it will not affect its exploration plans, while other operators such as Total and Petronas have focused on the safety of their employees as they ‘monitor the evolving situation’.
But the longer the coup lasts without a resolution satisfactory to the international community and the longer the protests last (and the more deaths that result from that), the more untenable the position of the foreign upstream players will be. Asian investors, especially the Chinese, mainly through CNPC/PetroChina, and the Thais, through PTTEP - will be relatively insulated, but American and European majors face bigger risks. This could jeopardise key projects such as the Myanmar-to-China crude oil and natural gas pipeline project (a 771km connection to Yunnan), two LNG-to-power projects (Thaketa and Thilawa, meant to deal with the country’s chronic blackouts) and the massive Block A-6 gas development in the Shwe Yee Htun field by Woodside which just kicked off a fourth drilling campaign in December.
It is a big unknown. The Tatmadaw has proven to be impervious to foreign criticism in the past, ignoring even the most stringent sanctions thrown their way. In fact, it was a huge surprise that the army even relinquished power back in 2010. But the situation has changed. The Myanmar population is now more connected and more aware, while the army has profited off the opening of the economy. The economic consequences of returning to its darker days might be enough to trigger a resolution. But that’s not a guarantee. What is certain is that the coup will have a lasting effect on energy investment and plans in Myanmar. How long and how deep is a question that only the Tatmadaw can answer.
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The year 2020 was exceptional in many ways, to say the least. All of which, lockdowns and meltdowns, managed to overshadow a changing of the guard in the LNG world. After leapfrogging Indonesia as the world’s largest LNG producer in 2006, Qatar was surpassed by Australia in 2020 when the final figures for 2019 came in. That this happened was no surprise; it was always a foregone conclusion given Australia’s massive LNG projects developed over the last decade. Were it not for the severe delays in completion, Australia would have taken the crown much earlier; in fact, by capacity, Australia already sailed past Qatar in 2018.
But Australia should not rest on its laurels. The last of the LNG mega-projects in Western Australia, Shell’s giant floating Prelude and Inpex’s sprawling Ichthys onshore complex, have been completed. Additional phases will provide incremental new capacity, but no new mega-projects are on the horizon, for now. Meanwhile, after several years of carefully managing its vast capacity, Qatar is now embarking on its own LNG infrastructure investment spree that should see it reclaim its LNG exporter crown in 2030.
Key to this is the vast North Field, the single largest non-associated gas field in the world. Straddling the maritime border between tiny Qatar and its giant neighbour Iran to the north, Qatar Petroleum has taken the final investment decision to develop the North Field East Project (NFE) this month. With a total price tag of US$28.75 billion, development will kick off in 2021 and is expected to start production in late 2025. Completion of the NFE will raise Qatar’s LNG production capacity from a current 77 million tons per annum to 110 mmtpa. This is easily higher than Australia’s current installed capacity of 88 mmtpa, but the difficulty in anticipating future utilisation rates means that Qatar might not retake pole position immediately. But it certainly will by 2030, when the second phase of the project – the North Field South (NFS) – is slated to start production. This would raise Qatar’s installed capacity to 126 mmtpa, cementing its lead further still, with Qatar Petroleum also stating that it is ‘evaluating further LNG capacity expansions’ beyond that ceiling. If it does, then it should be more big leaps, since this tiny country tends to do things in giant steps, rather than small jumps.
Will there be enough buyers for LNG at the time, though? With all the conversation about sustainability and carbon neutrality, does natural gas still have a role to play? Predicting the future is always difficult, but the short answer, based on current trends, it is a simple yes.
Supermajors such as Shell, BP and Total have set carbon neutral targets for their operations by 2050. Under the Paris Agreement, many countries are also aiming to reduce their carbon emissions significantly as well; even the USA, under the new Biden administration, has rejoined the accord. But carbon neutral does not mean zero carbon. It means that the net carbon emissions of a company or of a country is zero. Emissions from one part of the pie can be offset by other parts of the pie, with the challenge being to excise the most polluting portions to make the overall goal of balancing emissions around the target easier. That, in energy terms, means moving away from dirtier power sources such as coal and oil, towards renewables such as solar and wind, as well as offsets such as carbon capture technology or carbon trading/pricing. Natural gas and LNG sit right in the middle of that spectrum: cleaner than conventional coal and oil, but still ubiquitous enough to be commercially viable.
So even in a carbon neutral world, there is a role for LNG to play. And crucially, demand is expected to continue rising. If ‘peak oil’ is now expected to be somewhere in the 2020s, then ‘peak gas’ is much further, post-2040s. In 2010, only 23 countries had access to LNG import facilities, led by Japan. In 2019, 43 countries now import LNG and that number will continue to rise as increased supply liquidity, cheaper pricing and infrastructural improvements take place. China will overtake Japan as the world’s largest LNG importer soon, while India just installed another 5 mmtpa import terminal in Hazira. More densely populated countries are hopping on the LNG bandwagon soon, the Philippines (108 million people), Vietnam (96 million people), to ensure a growing demand base for the fuel. Qatar’s central position in the world, sitting just between Europe and Asia, is a perfect base to service this growing demand.
There is competition, of course. Russia is increasingly moving to LNG as well, alongside its dominant position in piped natural gas. And there is the USA. By 2025, the USA should have 107 mmtpa of LNG capacity from currently sanctioned projects. That will be enough to make the USA the second-largest LNG exporter in the world, overtaking Australia. With a higher potential ceiling, the USA could also overtake Qatar eventually, since its capacity is driven by private enterprise rather than the controlled, centralised approach by Qatar Petroleum. The appearance of US LNG on the market has been a gamechanger; with lower costs, American LNG is highly competitive, having gone as far as Poland and China in a few short years. But while the average US LNG breakeven cost is estimated at around US$6.50-7.50/mmBtu, Qatar’s is even lower at US$4/mmBtu. Advantage: Qatar.
But there is still room for everyone in this growing LNG market. By 2030, global LNG demand is expected to grow to 580 million tons per annum, from a current 360 mmtpa. More LNG from Qatar is not just an opportunity, it is a necessity. Traditional LNG producers such as Malaysia and Indonesia are seeing waning volumes due to field maturity, but there is plenty of new capacity planned: in the USA, in Canada, in Egypt, in Israel, in Mozambique, and, of course, in Qatar. In that sense, it really doesn’t matter which country holds the crown of the world’s largest exporter, because LNG demand is a rising tide, and a rising tide lifts all 😊