BP goes on hydrogen hiring spree in bid for 10% market share

BP plc has kicked off a hiring campaign to fill jobs in its fledgling hydrogen business.

The U.K. oil and gas major is initially looking to fill some 100 hydrogen jobs to work on projects from Spain to Australia. It’s among a raft of global energy companies stepping up investment in the clean-burning gas on a bet that the market will boom as industries and consumers switch to lower-carbon fuels.

“The ambition is to get folk in as soon as possible, so they can start super-charging what is already a growing business,” Matthew Williamson, BP’s vice-president for blue hydrogen, said in an interview. There’ll also be “future waves of recruitment.”

BP has a slate of projects to produce blue hydrogen – whose manufacture emits carbon dioxide that must be captured and stored – and green hydrogen, which is made from water and renewable energy. The company already makes gray hydrogen, the dirtiest kind as its production releases CO2 into the air.

BP is expanding the business as other areas of its operations contract. It began a major restructuring last year, which will ultimately result in about 10,000 jobs being lost. The changes are part of a move to scale back its traditional fossil-fuel activities while ramping up production of cleaner sources of energy.

The London-based company is recruiting both internally and externally for the hydrogen roles, and looking beyond the traditional BP skillset.

“There’s a lot of BP skills already, but we know we haven’t got all the answers,” said Williamson, who joined the firm as a refining engineer 25 years ago. “If you look at our team at the moment, we’ve got an ex-Ferrari engineer, we’ve got somebody who used to test downhill skis,” as well as “a geologist who used to model reservoirs.”

BP said last year it aims to capture a 10 per cent share of “core” hydrogen markets over the next decade. Among the company’s proposed projects are a 1-gigawatt blue hydrogen complex in Teesside, northern England, and “large-scale” green hydrogen production in Australia.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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