BP.L - BP p.l.c.

LSE - LSE Delayed Price. Currency in GBp
-3.20 (-0.66%)
At close: 4:36PM BST
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Previous Close488.25
Bid482.00 x 0
Ask500.00 x 0
Day's Range483.95 - 489.45
52 Week Range452.38 - 583.40
Avg. Volume45,926,765
Market Cap98.891B
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.36
PE Ratio (TTM)11.07
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & Yield0.33 (6.87%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-08-08
1y Target EstN/A
  • BP names Bernard Looney as CEO, Dudley to leave in 2020
    Reuters Videos

    BP names Bernard Looney as CEO, Dudley to leave in 2020

    A change of leadership at BP. Bernard Looney is to replace Bob Dudley as CEO when he retires in February. The incoming CEO is no stranger to the oil giant. He took charge of BP's oil and gas production, or "upstream operations" in 2016, just as the sector grappled with the aftermath of the 2014 collapse in oil prices. The Irishman's energetic management style was quickly felt, as he spearheaded cost cutting and digitalization. Looney has helped lead BP through some of its fastest growth in oil and gas production - with output rising by around 20% since 2016. The same period saw the acquisition of BHP's portfolio of U.S. shale assets this year for $10.5 billion - BP's biggest deal in three decades. As CEO, he will be charged with continuing to adapt BP to the transition to lower carbon energy as pressure from investors to meet climate change targets grows. Bob Dudley will step down as CEO after the company's full-year results in February. He was appointed to the top job in 2010 following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Dudley led the company through near-bankruptcy after it caused the largest oil spill in U.S. history, and through an oil price crash four years later. Dudley has enjoyed overwhelming support from investors, although a majority of shareholders opposed his 2016 pay package, forcing the company to slash it by 40%.

  • Exxon Stock Offers Tremendous Value and a Great 5.1% Dividend Yield

    Exxon Stock Offers Tremendous Value and a Great 5.1% Dividend Yield

    It has been a glum time for ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) shareholders. Regardless of whether you're looking at the past one year, five years, or ten years, XOM stock has been stuck in the mud. You'd have to go back to before the Great Financial Crisis since XOM stock made investors significant money.Source: Shutterstock As is often the case, however, the longer a stock trades sideways, the bigger its next move will be. XOM stock has now traded largely flat for a decade, swinging up and down but generally remaining near the $75/share mark. When it finally gets going again, expect a huge move. * 7 Reasons to Buy Canopy Growth Stock Technically, Exxon stock is primed to explode upward once it starts accelerating. Here's why Exxon's next move will be upward, and probably dramatically so.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Exxon Mobil's Huge Growth PlansInvestors tend to think of the oil and gas companies being hunkered down for a long winter, and that's generally right. As the oil slump has entered year five, many smaller firms are drastically cutting down exploration and drilling expenses. In a world of $55/barrel oil, it doesn't make sense for small operators to try to increase production.This leaves a big opportunity for companies with more scale and cheaper access to capital like Exxon Mobil. The company can, and is, making efforts to greatly improve its production in coming years. Management realizes that the world is going to need more oil. Once the current shale boom loses steam in the U.S., we'll need another round of fresh supply to replace declining reserves elsewhere.Enter Exxon, with its multi-billion dollar projects to open new production fields in places like Guyana. In fact, Exxon is getting aggressive. They are aiming to double cash flow and earnings in coming years. With so many other players pulling back their spending, Exxon with its fortress balance sheet will profitably pick up the slack. Oil May Be Peaking, But It Isn't Going Away Anytime SoonMany folks seem to confuse Exxon's (very) long-term prospects with its ability to carry on in coming years. Some analysts project that if current trends hold, by around 2050, we may see renewable energy displace fossil fuels in making up a large portion of the electric grid. And the crossover point for electric vehicles could be relatively sooner -- say in the 2030s. Exxon is well aware of this, and management has invested heavily in research for next-generation energy solutions.The fact that renewables will be growing in future decades hardly matters to XOM stock tomorrow, or even ten years from now. By 2040, the 2019 Energy Outlook estimates (see slides 11 and 13) that wind, nuclear, solar, and other renewables will still be less than one-fifth of the world's global energy supply. Even dirty coal will remain a key though shrinking player, while oil demand will be about flat, and natural gas use will continue to rise. XOM Stock Dividend Is Rock-SolidXOM stock is currently offering a more than 5% dividend yield. This is the highest dividend that the company has provided in three decades. Even in the Great Financial Crisis, XOM stock paid far less. Also, in the late 1990s, when oil was just $15/barrel, XOM stock only paid a 2-2.5% dividend. Now it pays double that.The higher dividend yield is the result of investor apathy, along with many socially-responsible funds dumping their allocations to fossil fuels altogether. Oil and gas appear to be becoming like tobacco stocks in the 1990s, shunned by investors who felt the companies were "obsolete" and harmful morally. Regardless of those concerns, cigarette companies like Altria (NYSE:MO) went on to post world-beating returns while giving off fat dividend yields.Exxon stock could perform similarly going forward. The world will need plenty of oil for at least a few more decades, and Exxon has the balance sheet to keep its dividend secure. At an AA+ credit rating, Exxon is one of the highest-rated companies out there; it could pay off its debt with just a year or two of profits if needed.As for the dividend, based on an average of recent years, Exxon's cash flow covers its payout more than three times. This indicates that the company has more than enough ongoing operations, even at relatively low oil and gas prices, to pay the 5% dividend indefinitely. And with growth projects coming online, the company will be able to continue hiking the dividend even more in coming years. XOM Stock VerdictI've been buying Exxon stock gradually over the past year. And with the recent dip under $70/share, I've gotten more aggressive in picking up shares.Admittedly, there's no imminent catalyst for Exxon shares to take off. The oil market is currently in a slump, and natural gas is oversupplied as well. Exxon's refining business is steady, and is generating large profits. That said, until oil or natural gas -- preferably both -- see an uptick, XOM stock might stay down around $70. That's true of other high-quality oil and gas stocks like Chevron (NYSE:CVX), BP (NYSE:BP), and Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) as well.Once prices start to lift, however, XOM stock will skyrocket. Remember that the company is planning to double earnings and cash flow over the next five years from increasing production from low-cost new areas such as Guyana. This should lift earnings to $9/share.Throw in some help from higher oil and gas prices, and EPS will reach the double digits. At the current $70/share price, that'd be a 7x P/E ratio, or less. Even a $100 share price would be no more than 10x earnings. Add in that outsized dividend yield and things look even better. Buy now, and enjoy the 5% dividend with a strong chance of big share price appreciation over the next few years as well.At the time of this writing, Ian Bezek owned XOM, BP, and CNQ stock. You can reach him on Twitter at @irbezek. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Reasons to Buy Canopy Growth Stock * 7 Restaurant Stocks to Leave on Your Plate * 4 Turnaround Plays to Buy Now The post Exxon Stock Offers Tremendous Value and a Great 5.1% Dividend Yield appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Barrons.com

    Your Heating Bill May Be About to Rise. Blame a New Shipping Rule.

    Oceangoing freight ships will use cleaner fuel at the start of next year, leading to higher shipping costs that may force consumers to pay more for goods and to heat their homes.

  • Behind The List: No. 1 energy employer in Houston sees drop in global revenue
    American City Business Journals

    Behind The List: No. 1 energy employer in Houston sees drop in global revenue

    Despite its No. 1 spot on the Houston Business Journal's 2019 Largest Houston-Area Energy Employers List, Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) has seen a large drop off in global revenue since 2014. The company reported a global revenue of $279.33 billion in 2018, a 32 percent decrease since 2014, when it reported $421.11 billion in global revenue. The company’s lowest reported revenue was in 2016, when it reported $218.61 billion.

  • Reuters

    EXPLAINER-Translating TOR: How Brazil's $26 bln oil rights auction works

    Brazil's Senate passed the main text of a bill late on Tuesday defining the distribution of proceeds from a blockbuster auction of oil prospecting rights, a key milestone for the enormous offshore region known as TOR - the 'transfer-of-rights' area. The bidders who win exploration and production rights in the massive Nov. 6 auction will be obliged to pay the government a combined signing bonus of some 106.5 billion reais ($25.8 billion), making it the largest oil bidding round in history, according to Brazilian authorities. The fields are unique as Brazilian state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA, better known as Petrobras, has already done significant exploration work in the area.

  • Barrons.com

    Why Royal Dutch Shell Stock Could Stand Out From Big Oil

    But Royal Dutch Shell Shell could benefit thanks to strong prices for liquefied natural gas, says a Cowen analyst

  • BP nears $10B divestment goal early, will take multibillion-dollar writedown
    American City Business Journals

    BP nears $10B divestment goal early, will take multibillion-dollar writedown

    Thus far in its $10 billion divestment program, BP's largest single deal is the $5.6 billion sale of its operations in Alaska to a Houston-based company.

  • Did BP's (LON:BP.) Share Price Deserve to Gain 20%?
    Simply Wall St.

    Did BP's (LON:BP.) Share Price Deserve to Gain 20%?

    Generally speaking the aim of active stock picking is to find companies that provide returns that are superior to the...

  • Stocks - Roku, Slack Jump, as Oil Companies Gain Premarket

    Stocks - Roku, Slack Jump, as Oil Companies Gain Premarket

    Investing.com - Stocks in focus in premarket trading on Friday:

  • Financial Times

    BP faces up to $3bn impairment charge after sale of US assets

    On Friday BP said it will sell four packages of legacy gas assets from its US shale business, without disclosing the buyer or the price. In August, BP said it would sell its Alaskan business to Hilcorp for $5.6bn, ending its 60-year history in the US state.

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 1-BP warns of Q3 charges as it spurs $10 bln divestment target

    BP will take charges of $2 to $3 billion in the third quarter, the British energy firm said on Friday, as it looks to reach divestments worth $10 billion by the end of 2019, a year ahead of schedule. In a statement, London-based BP said it expects to agree asset sales of $10 billion by end-year after its $5.6 billion sale of its Alaskan business to Hilcorp and divestments in U.S. shale gas. BP shares were down 1.1% by 0948 GMT compared with a 1.3% gain in the broader European energy index.

  • MarketWatch

    BP says it expects to sell $10 billion in assets at end of the 2019 -- sooner than expected

    BP PLC on Friday said it plans on selling some $10 billion in assets by the end of 2019, a year earlier than it had expected. The major oil company had announced plans to offload assets last year to shrink its debt ratio. The company in a statement on Friday said it has been selling oil assets in Alaska at a faster clip than had been anticipated, with those divestitures expected to result in a non-cash after-tax charge of $2-3 billion in the company's 2019 full-year results. Shares of BP traded in London were down 0.7% on Friday at 5 pounds. U.S.-listed shares of BP were up 0.7% in premarket action at $37.41.

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 1-Total will not participate in Brazil transfer of rights oil auction -CEO

    France's Total SA , the big winner in a Brazilian auction of offshore oil concessions on Thursday, said it will not participate in a bigger auction scheduled for Nov. 6 of the so-called Transfer of Rights area in Brazil's pre-salt region. The company's chief executive officer, Patrick Pouyanné, said in a statement that was because the competitive bidding rounds were for non-operating stakes. A consortium led by Total won the exploration and production rights for an offshore block near the pre-salt region on Thursday, agreeing to pay the government a signing bonus of 4 billion reais ($978 million).

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 3-Brazil raises $2.2 bln in oil auction; Total, Petronas invest big

    Ten companies on Thursday agreed to pay more than $2 billion for the exploration and production rights in 12 offshore oil blocks in Brazil, in what could be a promising sign for even bigger upcoming oil auctions. The most heavily sought after areas in the Thursday auction directly border Brazil's so-called pre-salt area, a coveted zone in which billions of barrels of oil are trapped under a thick layer of salt beneath the ocean floor. The biggest move came from a France's Total SA, which, in a consortium with Malaysia's Petronas and Qatar Petroleum, dropped 4.029 billion reais for one block abutting the pre-salt area.

  • Which Energy Stocks Should You Consider Pre-Q3?
    Market Realist

    Which Energy Stocks Should You Consider Pre-Q3?

    Energy stocks are slumping due to falling equity markets and plunging oil prices. So far this month, the S&P; 500 Index has fallen 2.8%.

  • Hedge Funds Aren’t Excited About BP plc  (BP)
    Insider Monkey

    Hedge Funds Aren’t Excited About BP plc (BP)

    Hedge funds run by legendary names like George Soros and David Tepper make billions of dollars a year for themselves and their super-rich accredited investors (you’ve got to have a minimum of $1 million liquid to invest in a hedge fund) by spending enormous resources on analyzing and uncovering data about small-cap stocks that the […]

  • Big Oil Is Selling Dirty Assets, But They Aren’t Going Away

    Big Oil Is Selling Dirty Assets, But They Aren’t Going Away

    (Bloomberg) -- When BP Plc announced its historic exit from Alaska, Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley pointed to an extra perk from the $5.6 billion sale: a significantly lower carbon footprint.Cutting emissions is important for Dudley, partly because influential shareholders are forcing BP to align its spending with climate goals. But there’s a catch.Hilcorp Energy Co., the buyer of the Alaska assets, plans to pour more money to boost production there than BP would have, according to Dudley. That could end up making the carbon problem worse than it was.The BP boss and his counterparts at the world’s biggest oil companies are caught in a dilemma. Investors are demanding they adhere to the goals of the Paris climate accord, while continuing to generate the mounds of cash that make them among the biggest and most consistent dividend payers.To strike a balance, one of the strategies for the executives is to sell high-cost and high-carbon projects. But that may only offload the emissions problem on to another company.“If one asset just passes to another and still operates at its maximum capacity, OK that may have helped the profile of that individual company, but does that actually do anything on a net effect of reduced emissions?” said Adam Matthews, the director of ethics and engagement at the Church of England Pensions Board. “That’s a legitimate question.”Oil Sands, CoalBP is not the only one passing on the responsibility. Royal Dutch Shell Plc divested its carbon-intensive Canadian oil-sands business in 2017 that is now operating under a new owner. Total SA sold its interest in a similar project, which was dormant, to a buyer looking to revive it. Miner Rio Tinto Plc exited coal by selling some of its assets to Glencore Plc, which plans to keep running them for years.The companies’ actions will be discussed when hundreds of executives gather this week at the Oil & Money conference. The event, which saw noisy protests from pressure group Extinction Rebellion outside its London venue on Tuesday, will change its name to Energy Intelligence Forum next year in a nod to climate change and the energy transition.While the asset sales help reduce costs, Dudley, Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden and Total’s Patrick Pouyanne will also need to show they’re committed to the environment and not just offloading their responsibility.Still, for some investors selling the high-carbon projects makes the companies more resilient to future climate legislation, and that’s a step in the right direction.If companies can use the funds from the sale of carbon intensive projects to develop lower-intensity production, that’s a “decision that we are generally supportive of,” said Nick Stansbury, head of commodity research at Legal & General Investment Management, one of the largest shareholders of major oil companies.Big ChallengeOil executives say their big challenge is to cut emissions while continuing to supply energy to a growing global economy. Shutting down production can create shortages that could boost prices, reduce affordability and even encourage the start up of new projects.Also read: Norway’s Huge New Oil Project Clashes With Growing Climate FocusTo tackle the “radical changes” required to keep global warming at a safe level, demand for low-carbon energy would have to rise dramatically, said Tal Lomnitzer, a senior investment manager at Janus Henderson Investors. It would have to be aided by government policy changes and involve social pressure, he said.“A much faster transition is technically possible but actors need guidance,” Lomnitzer said. “It’s likely to arrive from the populace and then be expressed via bans, taxes and incentives.”The oil companies support a tax on carbon as a way to discourage emissions, and are promoting natural gas as a cleaner fuel. France’s Total applies a carbon price internally in its assessment of projects, a spokeswoman said, as do others like BP. Qatar, the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas exporter, started a carbon capture and storage project as part of an effort to address concerns about climate change, Energy Minister Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said Tuesday.Investor pressure is also forcing the oil majors to increase spending on green energy. They’re building wind and solar projects, boosting electric-vehicle infrastructure and reducing the amount of gas they release into the atmosphere. But these investments are still a fraction of overall expenditure.“The transition from Big Oil to Big Energy will certainly take time,” said Rob Barnett, an energy policy analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “But we do see things headed in that direction.”(Updates with protests in the eighth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Isis Almeida, Francois de Beaupuy and Kevin Crowley.To contact the reporter on this story: Kelly Gilblom in London at kgilblom@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: James Herron at jherron9@bloomberg.net, Rakteem Katakey, Amanda JordanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Top 5 Companies Owned by British Petroleum (BP, OJSCY)

    Top 5 Companies Owned by British Petroleum (BP, OJSCY)

    British petroleum giant BP owns many companies that increase its earnings through the sale of its fuel products around the world.

  • BP CEO Bob Dudley to Step Down in March

    BP CEO Bob Dudley to Step Down in March

    Bernard Looney selected to succeed him Continue reading...

  • Costco’s weak quarter, HP slashing jobs, BP getting new CEO
    Yahoo Finance

    Costco’s weak quarter, HP slashing jobs, BP getting new CEO

    Costco, HP, BP, MGM Resorts and Apple are the companies to watch.

  • BP CEO to retire, successor named
    American City Business Journals

    BP CEO to retire, successor named

    The CEO who took the reins at BP during the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster will step down after nearly a decade in the role.

  • BP’s New CEO Needs to Steer Company Through World Wary of Oil

    BP’s New CEO Needs to Steer Company Through World Wary of Oil

    (Bloomberg) -- In a world that’s increasingly wary of fossil fuels, BP Plc’s newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney will have to prove the company can keep up with the times.BP has a highly profitable oil and gas business that pioneered exports from the Middle East, opened up giant fields in Alaska and the U.K. North Sea, and has paid billions of dollars to shareholders.But 49-year-old Looney needs to decide how quickly he wants to pivot BP toward cleaner -- typically less profitable -- forms of energy. The company is already transitioning to cleaner fuels, and the timing will be essential as the new CEO tries to keep influential investors on his side, and also offer an attractive career to talented young engineers.Looney has taken an unusual approach by asking a BP geophysicist in his 20s to “mentor” him on new innovations. During an interview earlier this year, the younger employee, Connor Tann, said he was somewhat in disbelief when he was picked to visit the office of the powerful executive.The two meet regularly to discuss not just technology but the culture of the younger generation, which Looney hopes to lure to his company from the attractions of Big Tech. The tall and lanky Irish executive, who carries himself with the charm of a politician, often looks worried when he’s asked if he’s keeping up with society’s attitudes.Looney has been “modernizing the upstream for BP and driving the digital agenda with a vision that the industry and the company are seen as cool, clean and low-carbon,” Barclays Plc analysts wrote in a note. “It is likely that the appointment of Mr. Looney as CEO may accelerate the journey that BP is on regarding the energy transition.”Delivering ProjectsLooney already has some experience under his belt. As head of BP’s upstream business, he steered the company through a worst-in-a-generation price slump that led to project cancellations, staff reductions and the mandate to squeeze more out of every dollar spent.He is credited with delivering projects on time and on budget. BP’s production is set to rival that of much larger Exxon Mobil Corp., including its stake in Rosneft PJSC, by the middle of the next decade.He frequently holds town halls and runs an online discussion forum that looks a bit like a Facebook page. Looney sees these as key to keeping BP relevant in a world where students are marching on the streets demanding a move to a cleaner world and investors are questioning if it’s safe to keep their money in fossil fuels.Looney’s Path at BPSource: BPHe helped drive the company toward digitizing its upstream operations and encouraging oil workers to wear devices to monitor their health. He’s also helped push the company toward better detecting methane leaks, a key contributor to global warming.‘Humbled’“I am humbled by the responsibility that is being entrusted to me by the board,” Looney said in a statement that announced his appointment to the top job. “And am truly excited about both the role and BP’s future.”In the past, he worked in the CEO’s office -- a position his predecessor Bob Dudley also held -- under the tumultuous reigns of former bosses John Browne and Tony Hayward. Those stints exposed him to major upheavals at BP including the company’s early, and eventually ill-timed, foray into solar. He was also in the thick of the action as the Deepwater Horizon accident resulted in the biggest ever U.S. oil spill, killed 11 people and which cost the company $70 billion in penalties.Looney, who joined BP in 1991 as a drilling engineer, was running the company’s North Sea operations when the rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.He flew out to Houston and worked for 60 days to try to stop crude gushing out of the well, he told an Irtish newspaper last year. At BP’s headquarters in London, employees were watching the company’s stock price plunge and U.S. President Barack Obama admonish their irresponsibility. People wondered if the company would survive the fallout. Looney called it the most challenging time of his career.Son of a FarmerLooney grew up on a dairy farm in Kerry, Ireland, with about eight arable acres, he told the Irish Independent newspaper last year. “We had 14 cows and it was pretty much subsistence farming,” he said. When the paper asked about his past-times he said he likes to follow tractor accounts on Instagram, as well as travel.He was the only one of his family to gain a university degree, with neither of his parents going to school beyond the age of 11, he said. Looney studied engineering at University College Dublin, and then got a degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in California.In February, he found himself on an all-male panel at a major London industry conference. He pointed out the practice, known as a manel, is not acceptable. Later at the company’s annual general meeting in May, a former engineer in his division took to the microphone to say people she speaks to in the upstream business are growing disillusioned because they don’t know what their purpose is amid the broader climate debate.Afterward, as dozens of shareholders jostled for Looney’s attention, he stood speaking to her to better understand her concerns.Looney will not be short of people wanting to have a say. A investor group overseeing $35 trillion called Climate Action 100+ said it wants BP, and 160 other companies, to be carbon neutral by 2050. That would drastically alter life at the oil major, which is aiming to keep its emissions from rising even as it increases production. The group has already bound BP to detail how each capital investment decision is aligned with the Paris climate accord, which Looney will be responsible for ushering through.“An incoming CEO who understands his organization, diversity, shareholders, free cash flow and how to make BP investible amid the growing energy transition concerns,” said Oswald Clint, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd. “We see no radical change in strategy.”To contact the reporter on this story: Kelly Gilblom in London at kgilblom@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: James Herron at jherron9@bloomberg.net, Rakteem Katakey, Helen RobertsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    NEWSMAKER-Dudley's decade at the helm of BP almost didn't happen

    BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley's decade at the helm of one of the world's biggest oil companies almost didn't happen. Dropped into the role in 2010 after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster, 11 rig workers had just died and the company's finances were teetering. Dudley had lived in Mississippi in his youth and spent his holidays fishing on the Gulf.

  • Bloomberg

    How to Manage the Decline of a $124 Billion Oil Giant

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- A change at the top is a moment for reappraisal. Bob Dudley, BP Plc’s chief executive officer, rehabilitated the oil major after the fatal Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and spill in the U.S. in 2010. His replacement Bernard Looney, appointed on Friday, should avoid the temptation to think his job is primarily to sustain that legacy.Like all the big international oil companies, BP under Dudley acknowledged the need to adapt to a world that craves more energy but fewer fossil fuels. The standard industry blueprint is to target more profitable conventional oil production, while investing in renewables and cutting emissions by, for example, using carbon sinks to store greenhouse gases underground and planting forests. But the precise balance of these goals matters.BP must steer between two extremes. On the one hand, it faces pressure to cease all investment in hydrocarbon energy and channel all of its free cash flow into clean energy — a wholesale transformation of the company.Alternatively, it could accept that when an industry is disrupted by an epochal change, like the shift to renewables, new entrants are best placed to exploit the opportunity. On that view, BP and its fellow oil majors should effectively start running themselves down, while paying out dividends to shareholders who can invest in companies better placed to lead the transition to new forms of energy.It would be better to see BP’s role as doing something between those two alternatives: pursuing some activities in clean energy, while also providing cash for others to deploy. Looney’s first task will be to look honestly at where BP has distinctive capabilities in renewables. There are some areas where it makes sense for the company to put its financial resources to work. It can turn its retail gas stations into charging stations for electric cars, as it’s doing. In turn, there’s logic in investing in related electrification infrastructure. But it would be foolish to believe that BP can transform itself completely into a wind, solar and battery company with a small legacy oil business.Unusually for the new CEO of a $124 billion company, Looney must face the reality that BP’s conventional business is going to decline and his role is largely about managing that.Dudley had to contend with the political hostility generated by Deepwater Horizon. Looney has an even more profound challenge. He will be dealing with an investor base of university endowments, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds, which are all under pressure to exit oil investments completely. There could be worse uses for BP’s cash than buying back its shares and letting those shareholders decide where to re-invest.By reputation Looney is energetic, personable and sharp, as has been demonstrated by his rapid promotion through the ranks. He’ll need to bring vigor in carrying out a realistic appraisal of what BP can do and what’s best left to others.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at chughes89@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.