Publications: Notes at the Margin

European Oil Majors: Following the Enron Asset-Light Model to the End? (May 15, 2023)


On May 10, David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlisle Group and a frequent Bloomberg commentator, interviewed BP CEO Bernard Looney at The Economic Club in Washington, DC.[i] There is no transcript. There is, however, a Financial Times newsletter article that called attention to the otherwise lightly covered event.[ii] The FT author, Derek Brower, noted how BP had shifted its focus from climate concerns back to fossil fuels, a move that has garnered wide interest. Other European majors are following the BP strategy.


The interview itself provided the most telling details. A close listen to it reveals that Looney wants to emulate Enron, the failed US conglomerate that brought down much of the US energy industry in 2001.

[i] Interview of Bernard Looney by David Rubenstein, The Economic Club, YouTube, May 10, 2023 [].

[ii] Derek Brower, “BP chief: Fossil fuels have done ‘enormous good,’” Financial Times, May 10, 2023 [].


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