BP Reports Increase in Carbon Emissions Amid Project Start-ups and Acquisitions

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BP has revealed a notable uptick in its carbon emissions for the first time since 2019, attributed to the initiation of new oil and gas projects and amplified production levels, Reuters news report said.

According to BP’s latest annual report, Scope 3 emissions, stemming from the combustion of oil and gas generated by the company, escalated to 315 million metric tons in 2023, compared to 307 million tons in 2022, driven by heightened fossil fuel production, BP said in its report.

The company’s Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, representing direct and indirect emissions from its operations, respectively, also experienced an increase in 2023, reaching 32.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, a 0.6 percent rise from 31.9 million tons in 2022.

BP attributed the overall surge in operational emissions to “temporary production-related changes,” the commencement of various projects including those in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea, as well as the recent acquisitions of Archaea Energy and TravelCenters of America.

With an ambitious target in mind, BP aims to curtail its Scope 3 emissions by 10 percent to 15 percent by 2025 and 20 percent to 30 percent by 2030 from a 2019 baseline, having already achieved a 13 percent reduction over the designated timeframe. Moreover, the company endeavors to diminish operational emissions from 2019 levels by 20 percent by 2025 and by 50 percent by 2030, having witnessed a reduction of over 40 percent between 2019 and 2023.

The concerning trend in emissions is of particular significance given the ongoing climate crisis, largely attributed to the combustion of fossil fuels which contributes to extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels, and other environmental challenges.

In addition to carbon emissions, BP also reported a 10 percent increase in methane emissions to 31,000 tons in 2023 from 28,000 tons in 2022, primarily due to heightened flaring activities in regions such as Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkiye and Tangguh operations. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, exacerbates global warming despite its shorter lifespan in the atmosphere.

BP emphasized its commitment to mitigating emissions, highlighting efforts to reduce operational emissions while acknowledging the challenges posed by new projects coming online. The company’s focus on sustainable emission reductions (SERs) remains steadfast as it strives to maintain momentum in its emission reduction initiatives.

Looking ahead, BP’s aim to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in its upstream oil and gas production by 2050 or sooner underscores the company’s long-term commitment to environmental sustainability. With targets set for emission reductions and continued investment in emission-reducing initiatives, BP aims to navigate the complex landscape of carbon emissions while advancing towards a greener future.

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