Protecting the role of natural gas in the global energy mix long-term is centered around cleaning up methane, a top BP plc executive said Tuesday.

BP Energy Co. CEO Orlando A. Alvarez assured an audience at the 21st annual LDC Gas Forums Southeast conference that gas would play an integral role in the world’s energy mix over the long haul. 

Industrial gas consumption in the United States is strong, liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports and biogas/renewable natural gas options are expanding. Still, the energy world is transitioning as net-zero carbon becomes the mantra.

“It’s a big shift,” Alvarez said, as consumers crave fewer hydrocarbons and more renewables. For BP, it’s about the customers. With that as its goal, the pivot is “to provide...