The boss of BP expects the AI revolution to trigger a surge in gas demand, with production set to dip before growing "significantly".

Murray Auchincloss, the chief executive of the energy giant, added that demand for energy from renewable sources will also increase as AI continues to develop.

He said: "Gas production will probably go a little bit lower this decade and then will grow significantly as we move into the following decades… Generative AI is something that’s creating an even higher level of demand for electricity."

Globally, 8,000 data centres are expected to use 800 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity by 2026, according to the International Energy Agency.

The UK currently uses around 321 TWh of electricity a year,

Supporting oil and gas

The company, who announced profits had halved in 2023 from 2022, expects upstream production in Q1 of 2024 to be higher than the previous quarter.

That's after oil production increasing by 6.7% in 2023 compared with the previous year, and an 8.6% rise in the fourth quarter from the third.

Auchincloss said: “We think we can increase our oil production by 2-3pc out to 2027. We have a series of investment decisions coming up that could extend those increases to 2030.”

BP is also expanding its renewable pipeline and has expanded its network of EV charging points to nearly 30,000 globally.

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