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  • Writer's pictureSarah Whiteford

Unmanned AI Research vessel, Rokke statement, green LNG, bp week: Renewables, Microsoft, FFI

It's Good News Monday!

Last week was bp week, so we have a lot of bp coverage on their transition to an integrated energy company. Scroll a little farther for the Mayflower AI research vessel, LNG, and Kjell Inge Rokke’s take on renewables.

This Monday we talk about:

  1. bp’s new goals: reduce carbon, cut oil and gas, increase renewables

  2. bp’s collaboration with Microsoft for computing and energy

  3. bp’s collaboration with Fauna & Flora International on conservation

  4. AI-Driven Unmanned Research Vessel ‘Mayflower’ Launched in England

  5. Oil Billionaire Kjell Inge Rokke Says It’s Time to Move Focus to Renewables

  6. Op-Ed: Why LNG is a Starting Point for a Zero Carbon Future

Image Credit: bp

In recognition of oil and gas's eventual decline in demand, bp is reducing production by 40% by 2030. Their new portfolio will be lower carbon and give them cashflow to transition to an integrated energy company. They have a new consolidated hydrocarbon operation where they can focus on clean, efficient, safe energy. They are also making strides toward safety in particular, toward the “ultimate goal of no accidents, no harm to people and no damage to the environment.”

Creating a smaller oil and gas business will serve to fund the transition by making that business more agile, reducing complexity. They are also focused on reducing emissions with Aim 1- a 20% reduction in operational emissions by 2025 and Aim 4- a 50% reduction in methane intensity.

bp says the future will look very different, with no countries for exploration, and careful exploration of existing hubs, targeting only lower cost and lower carbon footprint oil and gas opportunities. Facilities will be smaller, more agile, and have a drastically shorter development time.

Check out videos of bp’s Remote Collaborate Center and their new unmanned oil and gas platform Cypre.

Image Credit: bp

bp and Microsoft announced a collaboration on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. They will work together on digital transformation in energy systems and net zero carbon goals. Microsoft Azure will be a cloud-based solution for bp, and bp will help Microsoft reach its renewable energy goals for 2025.

‎“bp is determined to get to net zero and to help the world do the same. No one can do it alone – ‎partnerships with leading companies like Microsoft, with aligned ambitions, are going to be key to ‎achieving this,” said William Lin, bp executive vice president for regions, cities & solutions. “By ‎bringing our complementary skills and experience together, we are not only helping each other ‎achieve our decarbonization ambitions but also creating opportunities to support others on their ‎journey towards reducing carbon emissions.”‎

With bp’s commitment to net zero by 2050 or sooner, and helping the world reach net zero, changes are coming fast. By 2030, bp expects a 20-fold increase in renewable capacity increase low carbon investment 10-fold, and reduce oil and gas production by 40%. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced it would “be carbon negative by ‎‎2030 and remove more carbon from the environment than it has emitted since its founding by 2050.”

A few of the co-innovations planned are: smart and clean cities, clean energy parks, consumer energy, and Industrial Inter of Things (IoT) solutions. With Microsoft bringing the technology, and bp brining the energy, it looks like a good partnership.

Image Credit: bp

bp announced a new five-year collaboration with Fauna & Flora International. FFI was established in 1903, and has had a focus on influencing conservation practices and protecting biodiversity to keep healthy ecosystems. Specifically, FFI will be helping bp with its net positive impact (NPI) aim in the new biodiversity position. Rather than reducing environmental impact, bp wants to enhance biodiversity where it operates. FFI will provide technical expertise on projects, working on nature-based solutions.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature defines nature-based solutions as: “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human wellbeing and biodiversity benefits.”

Forests suck in CO2 and release oxygen, making them instrumental in carbon storage, but reforestation has to be done right. Combined with avoiding more deforestation, they will focus on grasslands and peatlands, which provide huge amounts of carbon storage.

Net zero needs natural climate solutions, and could be more than one-third of the puzzle to CO2 reduction. According to FFI, “We believe working with bp, we can help the company lead the way in its sector to demonstrate that by working together and with nature, we can collectively protect, restore and create resilient ecosystems for the benefit of people and the planet.”

Video Credit: IBM

A fully autonomous vessel has been released to gather data for scientific research on the marine environment. IBM, along with ProMare, an ocean research non-profit, launched the Mayflower Autonomous Ship on Wednesday, off the coast of England. The solar-powered vessel will “help scientists understand issues such as global warming, micro-plastic pollution and marine mammal conservation. ProMare is co-ordinating the scientific studies working with IBM Research and a number of leading scientific organizations.”

“Mayflower” has an AI Captain that can change course, look for hazards, and make decisions with no human interaction. IBM’s advanced edge computing systems power the vessel. There’s even a web portal where real-time updates on the ships condition will be provided, called The 15-meter long vessel has a top speed of 10 knots, powered by a solar-driven hybrid electric motor. After six months of trials, it will make the Atlantic crossing in Spring 2021, the same crossing the original Mayflower made 400 years earlier.

Image Credit: gCapitain

61 year old Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Rokke says it’s time to invest heavily in renewable energy. After a career in oil and gas, his investment company Aker ASA spun off clean-energy units, taking off quickly along with other sustainable assets. Aker still has a 40% stake in Aker BP ASA, which is over half the holding company’s value. He also feels that in five years, digital and IT could be half to two-thirds of his company.

“'What we’re doing in the green space is also exciting,' he said. 'Less than 10% of offshore wind has been installed so far. We are in the infancy.'

Aker is also working on establishing a separate unit dedicated to hydrogen, Eriksen said in a presentation before Rokke spoke.”

Image Credit: The Maritime Executive

LNG as a marine fuel will help move toward a zero-carbon future. “A recent study by CE Delft shows the potential for large scale Bio-LNG supply. And the fuel is already available in smaller quantities at various global locations.” Bio-LNG can also be blended with LNG and used without modifications at around 20%, reducing emissions. Future-proofing vessels with technology like LNG dual-fuel engines will help de-carbonize the marine industry.

Bio-LNG from waste gives additional benefits as waste is reprocessed and the accompanying methane captured. This capture process has the potential to be carbon negative. As many companies have committed to de-carbonization, demand for sustainable LNG will increase.

Smile, its Good News Monday! :-)


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