The oil and gas industry has converged to Houston for the annual oil and gas conference known as CeraWeek.
The yearly event is hosted by Daniel Yergin, the founder of Cambridge Energy Research Associates and author of the bestseller The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power.
One of the headline speeches this week was by BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward. It was noteworthy because at a time when key governments, including the U.S., are set to invest billions in clean tech, Hayward reaffirmed that today oil and gas continued to be the most reliable source of energy.
Hayward stated, “Here we come to an important reality about future supply and demand which, although unpalatable to some, must be sensibly and honestly faced. Around 80% of all energy is provided by fossil fuels and by most forecasts, fossil fuels will still provide the majority share of primary energy in 2030.”
It’s a stark shift for the company, which under its previous CEO, Lord Browne, had adopted a “beyond petroleum” policy to become a major player in the clean energy space.
BP worked hard to transform public perception so it was seen — not as a stodgy oil and gas company — but rather as a cutting edge ENERGY company. Hayward did back issues of energy efficiency, vowing continued clean tech investments and calling for a global cap-and-trade system.
On capping carbon emissions Hayward said this:”In my view cap and trade is the best option because it gives environmental certainty based on an absolute emissions cap. The ultimate objective is a global Cap and Trade system but that is probably a little way off.”
But overall Hayward was in Houston to reaffirm BP’s commitment to its core oil and gas business, “our industry must continue to find and develop new sources of oil and gas,” he told CERA attendees.
This is not a surprise. As reported here, BP has been scaling back its clean tech investments, arguing that in this tight market every spare dollar would prop up the oil and gas business.
Hayward is a pragmatic businessman who knows that despite the billions of dollars that are about to flow into clean tech, not just in the U.S. but globally, the reality is that hydrocarbons, today, are the most dependable energy source for a world that long-term will need more and more of it.