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BP May Employ Solar Energy to Power American Operations

Zacks Equity Research
Higher hydrocarbon production supports Hess' (HES) Q1 earnings.

BP plc BP is discussing the purchase of solar energy in the United States with Lightsource BP, per Bloomberg reports. The source added that over the next six months, the companies may finalize an agreement.

Notably, the British integrated energy giant has a partial ownership in Lightsource BP — a clean energy generator. To raise its stake in Lightsource BP to 43%, BP has decided to invest $200 million in three years, as reported by the integrated player in 2017.

BP’s initiative to power American operations with solar energy reflects its plans to align operations with the Paris climate agreement and simultaneously strengthen its financials since fossil fuel is more expensive than clean energy. In fact, shareholders have been building pressure on the British energy major to lower its carbon footprint.

Other energy companies have also been shifting to wind and solar power to supply energy to their respective operations. In November 2018, Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) entered into power-purchase agreements for providing Permian operations with 500 megawatts (MW) of solar and wind power. Moreover, Petroleum Development Oman — a state owned oil firm — awarded a contract last year to a consortium for constructing a 100 MW PV plant. Once the project starts operating, Petroleum Development Oman will be able to power its Omani operations for years.

Investors should know that although the energy industry is evolving and companies are planning to lower carbon footprint, the global market will continue to demand oil for decades, said BP early last year. In fact, hydrocarbon will continue to be the key source of revenues, added BP.

Currently, BP carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Meanwhile, a few better-ranked players in the energy sector include Antero Resources Corporation AR, W&T Offshore, Inc. WTI and Ultrapar Participacoes SA UGP. While Antero Resources sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), W&T Offshore and Ultrapar carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Antero Resources is likely to see earnings growth of 20% in the next five years. 

W&T Offshore has managed to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last five quarters.

Ultrapar is likely to see earnings growth of 25% through 2019.

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