Bob Dudley calls time on his role as BP boss

BP is on the brink of a new era after long-standing chief executive Bob Dudley announced he would be stepping down from the role, to be replaced by the oil major’s current head of exploration and production Bernard Looney.

Since taking the top job in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Dudley guided BP’s recovery from the brink of bankruptcy.

The company was forced to make major asset sales to pay for more than US$60 billion in legal and clean-up costs following the largest oil spill in US history.

Dudley also had to contend with the oil price crash of 2014, which squeezed margins across the energy sector and led to a further streamlining of BP’s operations in order to ensure the company’s survival in a low crude price environment.

BP has since recovered from these lows and expanded its production arm through major acquisitions, including the $10.5 billion deal to buy BHP’s US shale assets in 2018 – the biggest deal struck by the company in 20 years.

49-year old Irishman Looney will take over from Dudley in February next year, having run BP’s upstream business since 2016. During this time, he has led the company into new countries such as Mauritania and Senegal. He first joined BP in 1991 as a drilling engineer.

On Friday, Lund said: “[Mr Dudley] was appointed chief executive at probably the most challenging time in BP’s history. He has led the recovery from the Deepwater Horizon accident, rebuilt BP as a stronger, safer company and helped it re-earn its position as one of the leaders of the energy sector.”