BP America Inc. President Lamar McKay last week told an audience of financial analysts in New Orleans that his career began in the Crescent City. While he said it was a pleasure to be back for the Howard Weil Energy Conference, McKay emphasized that neither he nor BP had forgotten how Louisiana’s shores were fouled last summer by oil from the company’s blown-out Macondo well.

“In human terms, we are working to ensure that we have a highly competent organization with the deep technical expertise and the ability to deploy it effectively to assure safe and reliable operations,” he said. “And we are making changes to our approach to performance and reward so that every person in BP — no matter their actual job function — understands and works to carry out these priorities.”

But it wasn’t all fence-mending. A recent BP plc report, “Energy Outlook 2030,” predicted that the world could be consuming as much as 40% more energy in 2030 than it does today. Oil will remain a big part of meeting the demand, but natural gas and renewable energy will grow in prominence, McKay said. For its part, BP is expected to produce 3.4 million boe/d this year.

“BP is good at finding oil and gas, and we will take advantage of our growing world-class exploration inventory to double exploration investment over the next few years,” he said. “We will continue to explore where we have been successful in the past decade — Angola, Egypt, Azerbaijan and the Gulf of Mexico [GOM]. We will also test new provinces in coming years — Jordan, Brazil, the South China Sea and Australia.”

On Monday press reports citing unnamed sources said BP had applied to the federal government to do exploratory drilling in the deepwater GOM, the first application by the company since a ban on drilling was lifted in October. BP declined to comment. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters in a briefing Monday that reports of BP reaching an agreement on drilling with his department were false.

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