As we look back on 2019, and ask ourselves where the industry is headed, we may wonder where we may find wisdom. Might it come from a 16-year-old from Sweden, delivering an impassioned speech to the United Nations; or perhaps a respected CEO of an integrated producer with assets in some 60 countries, retiring after a career spanning some 40 years in energy?

Bob Dudley, due to retire in February from his position as group CEO of BP Plc, delivered a presentation last quarter in which he provided some thoughtful perspectives on the challenges facing energy. The world needed to “move to a low-carbon energy system,” he said, and it is the industry itself that “understands more deeply than many what the ‘energy transition’ entails.”

Dudley described the challenges facing energy as painting a “complex picture,” with “no single answer.” Each individual fuel has different attributes, costs and benefits, he observed. “To succeed, we need every tool at our disposal. To exclude gas, when so much is at stake, is to take a huge and unnecessary risk,” he continued. And, of course, gas “is abundant. It’s affordable.”

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