Tuesday, March 15, 2011

BP Beats Greenhouse Gas Target by Eight Years and Aims to Stabilize Net Future Emissions

STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS—John Browne, group chief executive of British Petroleum, told a Stanford Business School audience March 11 that his firm intends “to hold emissions from our operations at 10 percent below 1990 levels through 2010, with approximately half of that coming from improvements in internal energy efficiency, and half from the use of market mechanisms, generating carbon credits.”

The chief executive of British Petroleum outlined his firm’s goals to increase its production of oil and gas by more than 5 percent per annum while at the same time achieving the goals set by the Kyoto accord to keep overall emissions below the 1990 level.

Five years ago in another speech given at the Business School, Browne raised eyebrows in the energy industry by positioning BP as the first energy company pledged to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 10 percent below the 1990 baseline. “Now, five years on, I’m delighted to be able to come back to Stanford and announce that we’ve delivered on that target,” Browne told the audience.

He said BP has reduced emissions by almost 80 million tons through a combination of better technology to increase energy use and basic efficiencies like stopping leaks in natural gas pipelines and avoiding unnecessary flaring—or burning off natural gas at oil platform operations. Stemming natural gas leaks in the lower 48 U.S. states alone has prevented about one million tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, he estimated.

He cited examples of new products with a greater emphasis on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“In the London bus system we’ve just introduced a new combination of fuels and lubricants which reduces visible smoke by 65 percent and particulates by 25 percent.” He estimated the new fuels would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 66,000 tons per year. “Within the next three years, 50 percent of (BP) sales worldwide will be of clean fuels, including zero sulphur fuels which we hope will catalyze the development of more efficient engines,” he said.