Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 17 October 2019

BP names Bernard Looney as new head as long-time CEO Bob Dudley resigns

Mr Dudley helped steer the oil major after the disastrous Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010 which led to the deaths of 11 and cost the company $65bn

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 will step down in 2020, with the company's upstream director Bernard Looney set to assume his role.

Mr Dudley, who turned 64 last month has steered the oil major's growth trajectory into a profit-making sustainable-leaning behemoth after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The American who replaced Tony Hayward in 2010 following the disastrous Gulf of Mexico incident, has been with the company for nearly 40 years.

Mr Dudley will deliver BP's full-year results for 2019 on February 4 and will retire at the end of March next year, the company said. Mr Looney will assume his new role on 5 February and will serve in his current position until then.

BP chairman Helge Lund said in a statement that Mr Dudley had helped steer the company during "the most challenging time" in its history.

"During his tenure, he has led the recovery from the Deepwater Horizon accident, rebuilt BP as a stronger, safer company and helped it re-earn its position as one of the leaders of the energy sector," he said.

Mr Dudley helped the company rebuild its profitability following the incident, which killed 11 people and led to a massive environmental spillage, costing the company approximately $65 billion (Dh239bn). BP has since recovered ground, bucking the 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 60 years.

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" if it didn't decarbonise soon enough.

Updated: October 4, 2019 11:01 AM

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