Nov. 15 (UPI) -- British energy company BP said it's learning to do more with less, noting spending is moving lower even with plans to add more barrels to production by 2020.
In August, when Brent was trading around $52 per barrel, CEO Bob Dudley said the company was positioned for the "new oil price environment." In this new environment, BP reported oil and gas production for the third quarter was 13 percent higher than third quarter 2016 and three new projects started up since Dudley made his statement after the second quarter.
Six out of seven projects the company said it would start up this year are in production. Bernard Looney, BP's chief executive in charge of exploration and production, said at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi the company was spending, but spending wisely.
"This year we are bringing onstream seven new projects and we plan to add 800,000 barrels a day of production by 2020," he said in his prepared remarks. "At the same time, we have reduced our costs by around $9 billion, so we can do more with less."
Crude oil prices dropped below $30 per barrel last year, crimping spending for even the biggest oil companies. The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, was around $61.50 per barrel early Wednesday, but still about 40 percent lower than the price just three years ago.
BP said it would achieve "organic balance" so long as crude oil prices hovered around $50 per barrel.
From Abu Dhabi, Dudley said it was "intelligent computing" and new efforts with technology that were boosting performance.
"Recently in BP, we used a new algorithm to find 200 million barrels of oil," he said. "It took two weeks, but with 20th century software we estimate it would have taken over a thousand years."
BP reported oil and gas production for the third quarter was 13 percent higher than third quarter 2016. In October, the company said it would start buying back shares during the fourth quarter.