BP CEO: The low oil price is not all bad news

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Chief executive of oil major BP, Bob Dudley, has said that low oil prices are not all bad for the energy industry, as subsidies have been cut from petrol products around the world, which has resulted in fairer pricing in the market.

BP workers inspect a section of oil transit pipeline.
Kimberly White | Bloomberg | Getty Images

"People say with the (low) price of oil, it is not going to encourage renewables and other things. But actually you look at what is happening around the world right now, which is very good for this initiative, subsidies have been taken off petroleum products all over the world," Dudley told CNBC at a gathering in Paris, where the CEOs of 10 global oil and gas firms discussed climate change.

"That is going to price energy right. India has taken some big steps, Indonesia too – so it is not all bad news that the price (of oil) is down," he said.

The group of 10 CEOs, which together make up the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) signed a joint agreement backing its committee of an "effective global climate change agreement" and pledged to make efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

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"We recognize the general ambition to limit global average temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius, and that the existing trend of the world's net greenhouse gas emissions is not consistent with this ambition," a statement released by the group said.

"The price (of oil) is volatile, we know that. But the climate change issue is not relying on the price of oil," chief executive of French oil and gas firm Total, Patrick Pouyanne told CNBC.

Pouyanne added that consumption patterns and the behavior of consumers is currently part of the problem, which cannot be controlled by energy firms.

"We cannot have all the world's solution in our hand, but we are part of the solution. So I am convinced that it is a question of strategy, not of tactic, not of (the) short term," he said.

BG Group, Eni, Pemex, Reliance Industries, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell and Statoil make up the OGCI alongside BP and Total.

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The group, which makes up almost 10 percent of the world's energy, said it it was in support of increasing the share of gas in the global energy mix and cutting methane emissions from operations.

Both Dudley and Pouyanne said while there was a push to meet new emission targets, by addressing the global energy mix, less environmentally friendly commodities such as coal and oil will very much remain part of the strategy.

"The reality is the world is going to need all kinds of energy in 2035. With 7 billion people on the planet today, there will be 9 billion," Dudley said.

"We believe in the 2 degree Celsius target, right now the green house gas emissions doesn't match that and one of the ways you can get there is through coal, but it is more than that. It is the development of renewables. We have to remember there is a billion people on the planet that do not have access to electric power, so this is a very complex system," he added.

"You will still use oil, but it a question of mix – of much oil, gas, nuclear, renewables. There is not one solution. We should not antagonize energy against the other, we need all these," Pouyanne said.