BP right to hold steady on climate targets despite below forecast profits | Nils Pratley

Although chief executive Murray Auchincloss has left himself room to pump more oil and gas, renewables should start generating greater returns

The market’s guessing game at BP is waiting for Murray Auchincloss, the chief executive who has been in post permanently only since January, to blink. That is to say, waiting for him to tone down climate targets and decide to pump more oil and gas than planned.

Tuesday was not the day. BP’s first-quarter numbers were slightly weaker than the market had expected – profits of $2.7bn versus City forecasts of $2.9bn – but there wasn’t a twitch on the strategic tiller. Auchincloss trotted out his refrain about going from “IOC to IEC” – from international oil company to integrated energy company. The only fresh news was the promise of $2bn of cost savings over the next couple of years, but that’s the sort of thing energy firms announce routinely.

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