BP upstream chief picked for top job at oil giant

Irishman Bernard Looney will take over the top job at BP when the energy giant’s current chief executive steps down next year.

Mr Looney, who grew up on a farm in County Kerry, will continue in his current role as BP’s upstream chief executive, before starting his new job on February 5, 2020.

He will replace Bob Dudley, who has been group chief executive at BP for the last nine years.

Mr Dudley, 64, replaced group CEO Tony Hayward in 2010 in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mr Looney joined BP in 1991 as a drilling engineer, working in the North Sea, before moving on to have stints in Vietnam and the Gulf of Mexico.

He returned to Aberdeen in 2009 for a stint running the major’s North Sea business.

Mr Looney, 49, said: “It has been a great pleasure to work with Bob and it is an honour to succeed him as chief executive.

“I am humbled by the responsibility that is being entrusted to me by the Board and am truly excited about both the role and BP’s future.

“Our company has amazing people, tremendous assets, and a set of core values that guide our actions, but most of all we have a desire to be better.

“I look forward to tapping into that desire and building on the strong foundation that Bob has built as we meet society’s demand for cleaner, better energy.”

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Mr Dudley said: “It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve this company and work in this industry for the past four decades.

“I have worked with so many committed people from all over the world – both inside and outside BP – and I am enormously proud of all the things we have achieved together to provide energy for the world.

“Mr Looney is a terrific choice to lead the company next. He knows BP and our industry as well as anyone but is creative and not bound by traditional ways of working.

“I have no doubt that he will thoughtfully lead BP through the transition to a low carbon future.”

BP Chairman Helge Lund said: “Bob has dedicated his whole career to the service of this industry. He was appointed chief executive at probably the most challenging time in BP’s 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.

“This company – and indeed the whole industry – owes him a debt of gratitude.”

More to follow.

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