It’s a return to business as usual for BP. The UK oil group is raising $3.5bn in its first bond sale since the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico on April. The company’s last significant sale was last August when it raised $2bn.
The sale comes just days before Bob Dudley takes over as chief executive of the UK oil group. He faces a daunting in-tray, including cleaning up the oil spill, repairing the company’s reputation in the US, setting out a new strategy for BP and ensuring it does not fall victim to rivals like Exxon.
Among Mr Dudley’s most difficult internal challenges will be tackling “Fortress E&P”, the company’s powerful exploration and production division which is regarded internally as a semi-autonomous unit.
The James A Baker III Institute for Public Policy released a major study yesterday on the consequences of an emerging US carbon management policy. There are lots of strands in the report to be picked over. The one I found most interesting was that electric cars hold greater promise than establishing a national Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in reducing carbon emissions and lowering US oil imports. This is from the report:
The single most effective way to reduce US oil demand and foreign imports would be an aggressive campaign to launch electric vehicles into the automotive fleet. In fact, mandating that 30 per cent of all vehicles be electric by 2050 would both reduce US oil use by 2.5m barrels a day beyond the 3m barrels-per-day savings already expected from new corporate average fuel efficiency standards, and also cut emissions by 7 per cent, while the proposed national renewable porfolio standard would cut them by only 4 per cent over the same time.
This finding underlines the potential for the US to make good use of its natural gas boom to supply this growth in electricity usage.