My earliest memories of energy and power are about not having enough of it. If we wanted gas and electricity, we had to top up our ‘pay-as-you-go’ cards at our local shop.
Once topped up, we put the cards in our meters at home. The meters had countdown clocks, and the numbers would go down every time you used either your gas or electricity. When they got to zero, the lights would go out and the heating would stop. We could only top up again when somebody in our house got paid. It was a frustrating way to live.
This experience taught me the importance of having access to energy, and about where it comes from and how much it costs. It’s an issue now back in the forefront of many people’s minds, with current events highlighting the fragility of the world’s energy system.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine showed how a loss of even a relatively small amount of oil and gas can lead to skyrocketing energy prices, a cost-of-living crisis, and fears about being able to keep the lights on. It showed, more than ever, how important it is that energy is secure, affordable and increasingly becomes lower carbon.
Solving this energy trilemma requires a rapid investment in lower carbon energy to meet the world’s climate objectives. And, to ensure that transition is orderly, it requires investment in today’s energy system, which is mostly oil and gas. It’s an ‘and’ not ‘or’ approach – vital for a balanced and better energy system.
bp is helping to support this balanced approach to energy. By 2030, we aim to be investing up to $8 billion more on bioenergy, EV charging, convenience, hydrogen, and renewables & power – what we call our transition growth engines. In addition, we aim to invest up to $8 billion more this decade in the energy system of today. That’s investment into oil and gas, to keep energy flowing where it is needed.
Some people in society question why the world needs oil and gas at all. The simple truth is, we already don’t have enough energy in the world. Stopping investment in oil and gas would mean a hugely disruptive energy shortfall for the world today and for many years to come.
Just last year, Russia’s actions saw a drop of around 3% in global gas supplies. And yet, gas prices rocketed tenfold. A balanced and better energy system must, therefore, rapidly scale low carbon energy – and – keep energy flowing today through oil and gas.
This is why the wells industry has a vital role in the energy system – and will do for many decades to come.
A winning wells industry is one that prioritizes safety – everyone should get to go home safe and well at the end of each day. It’s an industry that is open to new ways of working, with drillers driven by digital. And one that is exciting to work in, attracting the right talent.
We need the best minds and skills, just as we need many types of energy to help create a better, more balanced energy system for all.
It’s what I longed for when I was growing up and it’s what the world wants and needs today, and in the years ahead.
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