Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 7 December 2019

BP chief likely to step down in 12 months, Sky News reports

Bob Dudley's retirement is likely to be announced as soon as the end of October

Mr Dudley, 64 has been with BP for nearly 40 years. Reuters
Mr Dudley, 64 has been with BP for nearly 40 years. Reuters

BP's long-time chief executive Bob Dudley who steered the oil major's growth trajectory into a profit-making sustainable-leaning behemoth after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is reportedly looking to step down in a year.

Mr Dudley, who turned 64 earlier this month, is drawing up a plan to retire from his role as the head of one the world's biggest oil companies, Sky News reported.

His retirement may be formally announced by the end of October, when BP will report its third-quarter results, the news channel reported.

The report added it was "unclear" whether BP was likely to name a successor to Mr Dudley.

Among early choices for the top position, Sky News cited Bernard Looney, BP's upstream executive, as well as chief financial officer Brian Gilvary as top internal candidates for the role.

Mr Dudley has been at the helm of the oil major since taking over from his predecessor Tony Hayward in 2010, following the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon spill, off the Gulf of Mexico. The incident, which killed 11 people and led to a massive environmental spillage, cost the company approximately $65 billion (Dh239bn). The company has since recovered ground, bucking industry trend by turning in a profit despite weaker crude prices in the second quarter.

BP's positive earnings contrast with Total and Norway's Equinor, which both reported a sharp drop in their profit. The company's turnaround rests on a steady recovery following deep cost cuts since the 2014 downturn, project start-ups and last year's $10.5bn acquisition of BHP's US shale assets.

Mr Dudley also looked at strategic divestment, including the recent $5.6bn sale of its Alaskan properties, where it had been invested for six decades.

He has also been an advocate of transitioning the oil major to a more rounded energy company and said at the company's annual energy outlook that the world was on an "unsustainable path".

Updated: September 29, 2019 02:45 PM

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