Our strategy is to have a balanced portfolio across the world’s key basins, working safely and reliably while maintaining a focus on capital discipline and quality execution to deliver value

Our business model and strategy

The Upstream segment is responsible for our activities in oil and natural gas exploration, field development and production, as well as midstream transportation, storage and processing. We also market and trade natural gas, including liquefied natural gas, power and natural gas liquids. In 2015 our activities took place in 25 countries.

With the exception of our US Lower 48 onshore business, we deliver our exploration, development and production activities through five global technical and operating functions:
  • The exploration function is responsible for renewing our resource base through access, exploration and appraisal, while the reservoir development function is responsible for the stewardship of our resource portfolio over the life of each field.
  • The global wells organization and the global projects organization are responsible for the safe, reliable and compliant execution of wells (drilling and completions) and major projects.
  • The global operations organization is responsible for safe, reliable and compliant operations, including upstream production assets and midstream transportation and processing activities.
We optimize and integrate the delivery of these activities across 12 regions, with support provided by global functions in specialist areas of expertise: technology, finance, procurement and supply chain, human resources and information technology.

The US Lower 48 began operating as a separate onshore business in 2015.

Technologies such as seismic imaging, enhanced oil recovery and big data analytics support our upstream strategy by helping us gain new access, increase recovery and reserves and improve production efficiency. 

We actively manage our portfolio and place increasing emphasis on accessing, developing and producing from fields able to provide the greatest value (including those with the potential to make the highest contribution to our operating cash flow). We sell assets that we believe have more value to others. This allows us to focus our leadership, technical resources and organizational capability on developing the resources we believe are likely to add the most value to our portfolio.

Our strategy is to have a balanced portfolio of material, enduring positions in the world’s key hydrocarbon basins; to employ capital and execute projects and other activities efficiently; and to operate safely and reliably in every basin to deliver increasing value.

Our strategy is enabled by:

  • A continued focus on safety, reliability and the systematic management of risk.
  • Prioritizing value over volume, and a continuous focus on executional excellence, managing costs and business delivery.
  • Maintaining disciplined investment in a balanced portfolio of opportunities, in deep water, gas value chains, giant fields and unconventionals.
  • Delivering competitive operating cash growth through improvements in efficiency and reliability – for both operations and capital investment.
  • Strong relationships built on trust, mutual advantage and deep knowledge of the basins where we operate.

Related content