BP’s Dave Lawler C-suite Chat: Work That Matters

Four years after picking up a Haynesville, Eagle Ford and Delaware Basin package for $10.5 billion, BPX Energy is delivering $1 billion a year in free cash flow to parent BP Plc. CEO Dave Lawler spoke with Oil and Gas Investor Executive Editor-at-large Nissa Darbonne on the company’s 2022 outlook and more.

(Source: Oil and Gas Investor courtesy of Ricardo Merendoni / BP Plc)

[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the July 2022 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.]

BP Plc came around to putting together a sizeable U.S. shale portfolio later than other operators. But it wasn’t late in terms of the price paid in 2018, and the value the properties are returning. It gained 190,000 boe/d (45% liquids) from BHP Group Ltd., gaining 470,000 net acres in the Haynesville, Eagle Ford and Delaware Basin for $10.5 billion—the largest BP acquisition in more than 20 years.

The Delaware portion was 83,000 net with some 3,400 gross drilling locations and existing production of some 40,000 boe/d (70% liquids). In the Eagle Ford, it picked up 194,000 acres and 1,400 locations in the oil and wet gas windows, producing 90,000 boe/d (70% liquids).

In the Haynesville, it added 194,000 acres with 720 locations, more than tripling its preexisting position in the play and producing 60,000 boe/d (100% gas). BP had put its onshore U.S. upstream business into a new unit, BPX Energy, in 2014, consisting of some 315,000 boe/d from seven basins in five states that it eventually divested and named Dave Lawler the new unit’s CEO.

Lawler, who is now also chairman and president of BP America Inc., began his career in 1990, joining Conoco and Burlington Resources and then Shell E&P Co. He was president and CEO of independent PostRock Energy Corp. before joining SandRidge Energy Inc. as COO.

Among the BPX Energy attributes he’s proud of is the company’s culture. Printed on the coffee cups in the community cafe at Denver headquarters is the slogan, “You belong here.”

“It’s my hope that society views BP in this same way— that BP belongs—because we are fully committed to helping the world achieve net zero. It’s a massive challenge, but our teams are in action, and we are sincere about playing a meaningful role in the energy transition.”

Executive editor-at-large Nissa Darbonne visited with Lawler in May.

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Nissa Darbonne

Nissa Darbonne is author of The American Shales and has been a journalist since 1984, beginning in the oil and gas fields of South Louisiana. She writes for Oil and Gas Investor and is actively involved in Hart's conference agendas.