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BP weighs ending its 70-year-old Statistical Review of World Energy

FILE PHOTO: An illuminated BP logo is seen at a petrol station in Gateshead, Britain, September 23, 2021

By Ron Bousso

LONDON (Reuters) - BP is considering ending the publication of its Statistical Review of World Energy, over 70 years after it first published the benchmark report, as the energy major focuses on its shift to renewables, the company told Reuters.

The Statistical Review has been a go-to resource for the wider energy sector since it was first published in April 1952, providing detailed data on global oil, gas and coal production and consumption.

Led by BP's Chief Economist Spencer Dale in recent years, the report was expanded to include data on renewable energy and even minerals used for batteries.

However the report has been seen by some BP executives as detrimental to the company's new direction, sources told Reuters.

A BP spokesperson confirmed the company has launched an internal review of the report.

"We're looking at options for publishing the annual Statistical Review of World Energy, but as yet we've taken no decision," the company said.

"The world of energy is changing fast and becoming ever more complex, and our energy and economics team are focused on understanding different elements of the energy transition and their implications for BP."

The company added that "the Review is a valuable source of objective and comprehensive data, and ensuring this continues is an important consideration."

Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney has radically shifted BP's focus since taking office in 2020, aiming to sharply reduce oil and gas production while rapidly building a renewables business in order to slash greenhouse gas emissions.

The company has in recent years also cut its ties with several oil and gas associations and has sought to raise its profile as a clean energy provider.

"Put simply, it (Statistical Review) is bad PR," one company source said.

The report is compiled by BP staff and in recent years with the help of the Edinburgh, Scotland-based Heriot-Watt University.

Graphic: BP Statistical Review https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/ce/mopaknbobpa/Pasted%20image%201669643516914.png

(Reporting by Ron Bousso; Editing by Veronica Brown and David Evans)