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BP: More investment needed to meet demand growth despite cheaper upstream costs

Although technological advancements could slash oil and gas exploration and production costs by about 30%, however an investment of around $600 billion a year is still needed to meet growing demand, according to a recent report from London-based oil and gas major BP PLC.

While existing global crude oil and gas supplies will be ample to meet energy demand through 2050, the use of technology could lead to lower-cost recovery options with less impact to the environment, according to the second edition of BP's Technology Outlook.

"By applying evolving technology through to 2050, these recoverable volumes could be increased by more than one-third to around 7.3 Tboe. This volume is more than enough to meet the world's projected demand to 2050 – estimated at 1.8 to 2.5 Tboe. However, exploration and technology development remain important in this sector to provide resource options that are more economical or have lower environmental footprints than some of the discovered resources," according to the report.

The recent BP report shows that oil and natural gas could still provide more than 40% of the world's energy in 2040 even after meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Nonetheless, the report indicates that advances in technology alone cannot lead to needed carbon reductions. "It suggests further action is required, particularly policy measures such as putting a price on carbon emissions, as well as consumers making lower-carbon choices," the report said.

Earlier this month while speaking at an industry conference, BP CEO Bob Dudley called on governments worldwide to put a price on carbon and said the company will soon disclose its own goals for reducing its emissions.

The overall global fuel supply mix will continue to transition toward a lower-carbon composition, as the use of electric vehicles, renewables and natural gas rises, BP said in a February update of its "Energy Outlook."