A conversation with Fawaz Bitar often loops back to the word foundation. Not surprising, perhaps, given his background in engineering, where one of the first lessons is that good ideas do not take form if they do not start from a firmly established base.

That was the thinking behind the reorganisation of BP’s upstream business a few years ago, which took it from what the company calls an “asset-based model” to a “global functional model” approach to projects and facilities. The change was designed to foster closer collaboration among specialists, improve reliability and bring a degree of standardisation to operations.