A top former BP executive has accused the supermajor of being so “complacent” about its energy transition strategy that it could leave itself open to becoming a prime takeover target in a sector gripped by consolidation fever.

Nick Butler, visiting professor at Kings College, London, said the underwhelming performance of BP’s low carbon business has led the company to become seriously undervalued, a situation that could eventually drive it into the hands of a rival, unless the supermajor separates out its renewables and E&P businesses.