Following are excerpts from a CNBC interview with the BP CEO Bob Dudley and CNBC’s Steve Sedgewick.
SS: Thank you very much indeed for your time. We talked about the excellent return in the form of your numbers last week as well let’s talk about how operationally the business is going on- you’re here in Egypt as well. Why is Egypt such a good example of where you want to be in the world at the moment?
BD: Believe it or not Steve we invested more money in capital last year in Egypt than any other country in the world. So people are very surprised about that we’ve been here for 50 years, we’re producing lots of natural gas. New projects another one came on today. We’ve been in the Gulf of Suez with oil for a long, long time. It’s just sort of woven into the fabric of the building of BP. So it’s good to be here.
SS: But in terms of the amount of discoveries that are available in a country such as Egypt and when we talk about products that are getting much harder to find it’s getting much harder to find. And of course Eni has had a lot of success here, you’ve had success here as well. Is there are a lot of gas and oil that you think is not so difficult to find in less difficult political areas at the moment still?
BD: Well this is the energy story here is vital to the success and the stability of Egypt and it’s got a nearly 100 million people, it’s a growing young population it needs natural gas. So this is really for the Egyptian market and the returns on this investment are very reasonable. So the government has worked with us through ups and downs. It’s been an interesting country to work in for 50 years. It’s really important for us.
SS: How difficult is it to work with any country that’s had such a big change from 2011 and 2013, 2015. All big dates in recent history as well. You just had to ride all that out though.
BD: That’s right. Never missed a day of production because we’ve been here for 50 years. We’ve got great Egyptian nationals here. In fact they work all over the world with BP and men and women great women here in Egypt. I mean it’s just really a very professional place. Very enthusiastic. And the governments have been good but this government is actually great. President on down has always said I’m going to cut through the red tape. Tell me what needs to be done. It’s excellent. The Prime Minister, Energy Minister, all of them one team. So that’s really rare. Now in a world where a government just works to move things fast quickly helps track.