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BP spends ‘low carbon’ money on finding and using fossil fuels

BP spends ‘low carbon’ money on finding and using fossil fuels

Analysis of hi-tech venture capital division reveals it is being used to fund technologies which will increase supply and demand for fossil fuels

BP put millions of dollars from its ‘low carbon transition’ fund into companies like a private jet app and a firm using AI to look for oil.

The oil giant BP has used money from a “low carbon transition” fund to buy shares in companies developing new ways to find and use fossil fuels, Unearthed can reveal.

Companies using AI to help drill for oil, a private jet app developer and a firm generating carbon emissions from fossil fuels to create animal and fish feed are among those to have received substantial investment, alongside investments in clean energy.

BP made these investments through its venture capital unit, which it uses to buy shares in tech companies. The oil giant claims that this unit invests in “a portfolio of relevant technology businesses that will help BP transition to a low carbon economy”. 

But Unearthed used the market data platform CB Insights to analyse its portfolio, finding that it has backed companies which contribute to climate change by driving the extraction and unabated use of fossil fuels.

It made its latest investment of this kind as recently as April, just eight days after CEO Bernard Looney, in an update to investors, again claimed that his ambition is “to make BP a net zero company by 2050 or sooner and help the world achieve the same goal”.

This was BP’s second investment in a company called Belmont Technology, which runs an AI platform nicknamed Sandy.

Sandy analyses particular oilfields to find information that will help engineers to extract oil much more quickly.

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