BP reappoints Wise as head of crude trading in latest reshuffle

LONDON, Oct 28 (Reuters) - BP has reappointed Daniel Wise as global head of crude in the latest reshuffle of its trading division aimed at helping the company to boost margins during a transition to low-carbon energy.

Despite a broader reshuffle, BP has chosen a safe pair of hands by reappointing Wise, who helped the company to generate hundreds of millions of dollars on crude trading over the past few years, sources familiar with the move said.

The announcement was communicated to staff via BP’s internal website. A BP spokesman declined to comment.

Wise has been the global head of crude since 2015 and the role is considered one of the most powerful in the oil industry given BP’s large presence in U.S. crude exports and refining.

Wise will report to David Bucknall, who was appointed senior vice president for refining and products earlier this year. Bucknall will report to Carol Howle, executive vice president for trading and shipping.

Bucknall will also oversee low-carbon trading while BP looks for a senior vice president to fill the role. The company wants to scale up that business and will be considering internal and external candidates for this role, the sources said.

Also reporting to Bucknall will be Enric Arderiu, vice president for low-carbon trading, and Michael Thomas, vice president for biogas origination.

BP CEO Bernard Looney has pledged to cut oil and gas output by 40% by the end of this decade as he seeks to ramp up renewable energy such as offshore wind and solar power.

Investors have welcomed BP’s shift but have also questioned the financial viability of the plan as renewables typically generate lower returns than oil and gas.

BP has said energy trading can help it to achieve returns of 8% to 10% in renewables - higher than the sector average of 5% to 6% - to maintain or even increase its dividend.

Other new appointments who will report to Bucknall include: Julia Emanuele, vice president for strategic implementation; Robert Gosman, head of light products trading; Janet Kong, head of products America; Michael Leonard, head of products in Europe and Africa; Eugene Leong, head of products Asia and the Middle East; David Palmer, head of distillates trading.

On Tuesday, BP reported a small profit for the third quarter but warned the pace of recovery from the pandemic remained uncertain and trading was weaker than in the previous quarter. (Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov. Editing by Jane Merriman)