Friday, 18 June 2010

If BP survives the Oil Spill, what would their best future be?

During the Milk the Green Cow conference in Maastricht, we asked ourselves an interesting question:

If BP survives the Oil Spill as a company, what would their best future be?

On of the participants of the afternoon workshop Bastien Wauthoz (geologist and paléontologist) took the challenge, and used the golden circle canvas of Simon Sinek to structure his thoughts and vision. As a good imagineer, his story included many things and came with a good quantity (as always ; - ).
Last week, he did send me his notes by email that are really worth sharing:

belief (the why question)

After the massive spill, we finally started to understand that we should work radically hard developing alternative energy solutions and limit petroleum uses to high value products. Thus our new philosophy is much more congruent with our name "Beyond Petroleum"

Strategy (the how question)

We want now petroleum to be used mainly for its high quality/value uses such as precision oils and chemistry. In order to achieve this we will develop a 5 axis strategy.

1/ Engage into and promote a Fair Trade Petroleum Act for petroleum industries to be more concerned with political, social and environmental issues;

2/ Invest less into prospecting new oil fields and use that saved money to invest into buying top industries and promising patents in renewable energy and in fields consistant with our new R&D philosophy (see 3);

3/ Redirect our R&D into developping high quality/high value uses for petroleum and into developing renewable energy;

4/ Promote hard the high quality/high value uses for petroleum ("Petroleum is too valuable a natural ressource to be burnt in cars")

5/ Lobby renewable energy powered cars to car industries, politicians and related stakeholders.

Measures (the what question)

We provide:

- a true commitment to the Fair Trade Petroleum Act;

- top of the art renewable energy solutions for all applications;

- only high quality uses for petroleum with a real benefit for people and our planet;

- top of the art CO2 capture and transforming solutions

Behind this is a strategy I outlined with cynical reflexions during the presentation (since it was destined to "BP top managers"). Here it is.

The strategy behind this comes from BP realising that as a multinational company it has a role to play into preserving the environment (and thus its market). Today consumption rate of fossil fuel will not permit petroleum industries to last much longer moreoverso if public pressure prevents extraction from oil fields in deep sea and/or protected zones.

A first consequence is that humanity needs new and renewable energies and that these provide a great business opportunity. This is already the case but efforts in that direction must be strengthened. A second consequence is that BP has to value all its tremendous efforts in prospecting and valuing oil fields into new and longer lasting ways.

Thus by promoting renewable energy cars with all its lobbying power while investing to be a leader into these new technologies, BP will ensure its future. By promoting high quality/high value uses of petroleum and investing into transforming most petroleum components into these, BP will value its remaining fields over a longer period of time without losing too much money (smaller market but higher return).

Moreover, lowering extracting rate from oil fields will allow an increase environemental security of the process.

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