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BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switching

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BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switching

Unread postby BrianC » Mon 25 Jan 2021, 09:58:06

https://news.slashdot.org/story/21/01/2 ... renewables

Reuters reports on big changes at BP (the company formerly known as British Petroleum):
Its geologists, engineers and scientists have been cut to less than 100 from a peak of more than 700 a few years ago, company sources told Reuters, part of a climate change-driven overhaul triggered last year by CEO Bernard Looney. "The winds have turned very chilly in the exploration team since Looney's arrival. This is happening incredibly fast," a senior member of the team told Reuters.

Hundreds have left the oil exploration team in recent months, either transferred to help develop new low-carbon activities or laid off, current and former employees said. The exodus is the starkest sign yet from inside the company of its rapid shift away from oil and gas, which will nevertheless be its main source of cash to finance a switch to renewables for at least the next decade. BP declined to comment on the staffing changes, which have not been publicly disclosed... Looney made his intentions clear internally and externally by lowering BP's production targets and becoming the first oil major CEO to promote this as a positive to investors seeking a long-term vision for a lower-carbon economy.

BP is cutting some 10,000 jobs, around 15% of its workforce, under Looney's restructuring, the most aggressive among Europe's oil giants including Royal Dutch Shell and Total. The 50-year-old, a veteran oil engineer who previously headed the oil and gas exploration and production division, aims to cut output by 1 million barrels per day, or 40%, over the next decade while growing renewable energy output 20 fold.

Elsewhere Reuters reports that due to the pandemic, acquisitions of new onshore and offshore exploration licences for the top five Western energy companies "dropped to the lowest in at least five years," citing data from Oslo-based consultancy Rystad Energy.
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Re: BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switc

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 25 Jan 2021, 10:06:32

Interesting. I wonder what their transition plans look like.

Must be some interesting conversations going in there.
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Re: BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switc

Unread postby AdamB » Mon 25 Jan 2021, 10:45:06

Newfie wrote:Interesting. I wonder what their transition plans look like.

Must be some interesting conversations going in there.


Having been axed during a downturn many moons ago, "interesting" can better be described as "gut wrenching" to the folks it is happening to. Even with the packages offered, you've got mid career professionals that if their specialty is oil and gas development, and consumers and/or the markets are transitioning away from your product (as opposed to a price downturn which everyone can hope is temporary), it is time for some tough decisions.

I went back to college for a year to get onto a different career path, but got sucked back in once activity resumed. Working for a major E&P company is a good gig.
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Re: BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switc

Unread postby dissident » Mon 25 Jan 2021, 11:47:33

BP can sugar coat it, but this is not some voluntary action to go green. Exploration has been flopping for a long time. The optimism of the 1990s about vast new reserves being opened up is gone. Peak oil is real and all the clowns who dismissed it can go and eat crow.
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Re: BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switc

Unread postby AdamB » Mon 25 Jan 2021, 12:10:12

dissident wrote:BP can sugar coat it, but this is not some voluntary action to go green. Exploration has been flopping for a long time. The optimism of the 1990s about vast new reserves being opened up is gone. Peak oil is real and all the clowns who dismissed it can go and eat crow.


The clowns who dismissed it...like those of us who knew Colin Campbell was full of it when he claimed it had happened in 1990....knew there was no need whatsoever it be driven by scarcity. 5 years ago I found a post of mine already talking about a demand side component because...you know....to folks who can think it was an obvious question.

The good news being that peak demand is quite a good thing, which disappoints the perma-doomers looking for their doom fantasy league scenarios to come true. :shock:
Last edited by AdamB on Mon 25 Jan 2021, 13:10:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switc

Unread postby JuanP » Mon 25 Jan 2021, 12:54:00

It's Beyond Petroleum all over again! So deja vu for those of us following this topic for a while. :lol:
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Re: BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switc

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 25 Jan 2021, 14:15:55

AdamB wrote:
Newfie wrote:Interesting. I wonder what their transition plans look like.

Must be some interesting conversations going in there.


Having been axed during a downturn many moons ago, "interesting" can better be described as "gut wrenching" to the folks it is happening to. Even with the packages offered, you've got mid career professionals that if their specialty is oil and gas development, and consumers and/or the markets are transitioning away from your product (as opposed to a price downturn which everyone can hope is temporary), it is time for some tough decisions.

I went back to college for a year to get onto a different career path, but got sucked back in once activity resumed. Working for a major E&P company is a good gig.

Anyone thinking that corporations won't have job cuts when business is bad is kidding themselves. Especially in a volatile business, and in the climate of short-term results thinking that's been becoming more pervasive in the first world for roughly 30 years now.

There's a trade-off with bigger pay potential, etc. but higher risk of job cuts. But these days, it's not like ANY jobs are really safe for a career. Between technology progress and more specifically "automation", having a "safe" job might be the MOST risky re obsolescence in coming decades.

I leaped from "safe" application programming into "risky" systems programming (where I had ZERO experience - basically self-educating my self with lots of overtime, and being scared at being relatively incompetent compared to my peers for about 9 months if down-sizing happened) at IBM, only 9 years into my career. Even though I was a seriously ass-kicking application programmer by college training, it was already VERY clear that the trend was that many of those jobs were going away, and the career path would get much worse. And those who chose to just hang on were layed off by the tens of thousands, sometimes a whole large building at a time, over the next 17 years, with the trend accelerating when I left IBM.

The gut-wrenching part is unfortunately, just a part of working life. It's a big negative in the midst of all the wonderful advantages better technology brings. Welcome to the modern world re being human. (And one of the main reasons I chose to retire at 48. Silly me, when I started at 22, I thought I might enjoy the actual programming part of the work so much I might not leave until I was 65. That lasted about 5 years until reality encroached).

Unless we can just get robots and automation to automatically do 90% of what we need, and pay almost everyone not to work, I don't see that changing. And if we DO manage that, I suspect a major new fomenting topic of unhappiness will be the endless griping about how the government payments for not working are NEVER enough. So there's that, IMO.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switc

Unread postby Armageddon » Mon 25 Jan 2021, 21:56:15

dissident wrote:BP can sugar coat it, but this is not some voluntary action to go green. Exploration has been flopping for a long time. The optimism of the 1990s about vast new reserves being opened up is gone. Peak oil is real and all the clowns who dismissed it can go and eat crow.



Damn straight. PO is forcing their hand.
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Re: BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switc

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 26 Jan 2021, 09:30:08

Thread drift but.... my employment experiences were similar. Early on I got “caught” in a public sector job and it took me a solid year of hard work to get out into the private sector. Once out I went through a couple of Black Thursdays where many coworkers were laid off. Luckily I was always retained. I never shopped around for jobs, always stayed in a job until something changed which made the job untenable, and then moved with a phone call. Moved companies 7 times and never lost a days work.

There is no “job” security. In my industry one needed to maintain their reputation and resume. Then you were good. The only security you had was that you created around your name. I can easily imagine it as different for other professions and career paths. Just my personal experience.
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Re: BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switc

Unread postby AdamB » Tue 26 Jan 2021, 10:17:49

Newfie wrote:There is no “job” security. In my industry one needed to maintain their reputation and resume. Then you were good. The only security you had was that you created around your name. I can easily imagine it as different for other professions and career paths. Just my personal experience.


I agree about no job security. Maybe Federal employees have it? Anyway, for more than a quarter century now I've been offered positions without ever having gone looking, and filled out whatever job application or paperwork was necessary only after I accepted the position. Security around one's name, and the ability to continue building on that is its own job security.
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Re: BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switc

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 26 Jan 2021, 12:53:12

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Re: BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switc

Unread postby Tuike » Wed 27 Jan 2021, 06:38:00

This reminds me of a news in december.
Denmark set to end all new oil and gas exploration -bbc
Denmark will end all new oil and gas exploration in the North Sea, as part of a wider plan to stop extracting fossil fuels by 2050. Its government also agreed to cancel its latest licensing round on Thursday, which gives firms permission to search for and produce oil and gas. "We are now putting a final end to the fossil era," said Denmark's climate minister.

It's supposed to be because of climate change, but here's Denmarks oil production chart:
https://tradingeconomics.com/denmark/cr ... production
Click MAX. If you draw a straight line, Denmarks oil production will be depleted by 2025!
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Re: BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switc

Unread postby Tanada » Wed 27 Jan 2021, 09:47:18

Tuike wrote:This reminds me of a news in december.
Denmark set to end all new oil and gas exploration -bbc
Denmark will end all new oil and gas exploration in the North Sea, as part of a wider plan to stop extracting fossil fuels by 2050. Its government also agreed to cancel its latest licensing round on Thursday, which gives firms permission to search for and produce oil and gas. "We are now putting a final end to the fossil era," said Denmark's climate minister.

It's supposed to be because of climate change, but here's Denmarks oil production chart:
https://tradingeconomics.com/denmark/cr ... production
Click MAX. If you draw a straight line, Denmarks oil production will be depleted by 2025!


Considering the size of the North Sea and the multiple nations all working hard to exploit its reserves for the last 40 years how much was left unexplored by this late date?
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Re: BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switc

Unread postby jawagord » Wed 27 Jan 2021, 13:14:48

Probably slashing to staff jobs at Roseneft!

BP’s chief executive Bernard Looney has staked his leadership on the oil company producing less oil. Rosneft’s chief executive Igor Sechin is taking the opposite side of that bet, with a planned Rbs10tn ($134bn) wager on a vast new project in the Arctic.

That BP owns nearly 20 per cent of the Russian oil producer appears to make no difference to the pugnacious Mr Sechin’s faith in crude. But perhaps it should to Mr Looney.


Mr Sechin officially announced Rosneft’s Vostok Oil project was under way in November during a tête-à-tête with his old friend President Vladimir Putin. It is in many ways the antithesis of Mr Looney’s commitments to make BP a net zero company by 2050, and reduce its reliance on fossil fuel revenues.

The scale of the project is huge. Seeking to tap an estimated 6bn tonnes of crude, Rosneft will create 15 new towns to house the 400,000 people required to both build the wells and infrastructure and operate them. A fleet of ice-capable tankers is being built.


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Re: BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switc

Unread postby dissident » Thu 28 Jan 2021, 19:35:59

Sechin knows what he is talking about. The Vostok project is real and no amount of bitching about it from the sour grapes western peanut gallery will make it go away. Unlike the USA, not every crack in Russia has been exploited for tight or non-tight gas and oil. The USA needs to import to meet demand. Russia exports but as with all other countries the existing oil fields are in decline. Unlike most other countries, there are large untapped reserves of oil and gas in the Russian Arctic and sub-Arctic. This includes the huge non-conventional Bazhenov formation. Its main problem is fragmentation of the oil bearing domains which makes it harder to exploit than US analogues.

With all the petty, resentful coverage of the Vostok project by the western MSM, maybe the west can put its money where its mouth is and actually go green. Really do something about fighting global warming instead of paying lip service to the problem. Where the west goes, the world will follow.
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Re: BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switc

Unread postby AdamB » Thu 28 Jan 2021, 22:11:15

dissident wrote: The USA needs to import to meet demand.


Well...not since late 2019 anyway. But BEFORE we became the world's largest oil and gas producer, yup, we weren't net exporters. Good thing we fixed that problem! Peak oilers sure didn't see that one coming!

dissident wrote:Where the west goes, the world will follow.


Yeah, we do sorta rock, don't we? :)
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Re: BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switc

Unread postby GHung » Fri 29 Jan 2021, 01:57:10

Seems ultra deep water isn't what it was expected to be 10 or 12 years ago.

SpaceX acquires former oil rigs to serve as floating Starship spaceports
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/01 ... paceports/


Elon Musk spent a princely sum of $3.5 million for two Ensco 8500 rigs (8500/8501). The ENSCO 8500 Series commenced operations in 2009 so these rigs aren't so old. Original sticker price was over half a $billion,, each.

As for BP, I've had a kW of BP branded PV panels making power in my backyard for around 16 years. Déjà vu indeed. Maybe BP should have gotten out of the deep water business back then; stuck with solar. Then, again, Shell solar didn't last long either.

Anyway, I suppose Elon figures we'll need a shitload of his Starships to scrounge the solar system for all of those depleted resources earthlings will need to build Adam B's brave new world, considering that declining demand for oil doesn't necessarily mean declining demand for everything.

BTW: SpaceX is planning to test fly and land its Starship SN9 tomorrow (12 km flight and return to pad). Super exciting to watch, whether successful or not.
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Re: BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switc

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 03 Feb 2021, 22:03:45

AdamB wrote:
dissident wrote: The USA needs to import to meet demand.


Well...not since late 2019 anyway. But BEFORE we became the world's largest oil and gas producer, yup, we weren't net exporters. Good thing we fixed that problem! Peak oilers sure didn't see that one coming!

dissident wrote:Where the west goes, the world will follow.


Yeah, we do sorta rock, don't we? :)

From where I sit, we have our moments, both good and bad. Just like every major country, trading bloc, etc.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: BP Slashes Its Oil Exploration Team by 85%, Starts Switc

Unread postby NovaVeles » Fri 12 Feb 2021, 19:34:45

GHung wrote:Anyway, I suppose Elon figures we'll need a shitload of his Starships to scrounge the solar system for all of those depleted resources earthlings will need to build Adam B's brave new world, considering that declining demand for oil doesn't necessarily mean declining demand for everything.


Best of luck to him and the team at SpaceX. Personally speaking, deep space resource extraction is barely one step above making gold from lead via alchemy.
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