Energy use

We aim to reduce our energy use by increasing energy efficiency in our operations

Reducing the amount of energy we use can help to minimize our environmental impacts and can also provide economic benefits. Our operations typically consider energy use in their business plans and assess, prioritize and implement technologies and systems that could improve energy usage.

Energy use

In 2015 BP's total reported primary energy consumption, which includes the energy used for the extraction, processing  and transportation of hydrocarbons in our operations, was approximately 756 million gigajoules (GJ) (2014 800 million GJ, 2013 823 million GJ). This excludes the energy content of hydrocarbons that are flared and vented. 

Most of our energy is taken directly from our own hydrocarbon production. The remaining energy, in the form of natural gas, steam and electricity, is imported from outside our operations.
Our upstream operations account for the majority of energy consumed by BP (51%), followed by our downstream’s refining operations (35%) and petrochemicals businesses (10%). The remainder is consumed by other downstream entities and by other businesses and corporate (OB&C).

The amount of energy used by our operations has decreased in 2015 due to divestments in our upstream business and planned maintenance and a refinery closure in our downstream business.

Primary energy consumption by source

Primary energy consumption by segment

Energy efficiency

We look for ways to make our operations more energy efficient by reducing the amount of energy we need to produce our products. For example, our LNG operations in Tangguh are designed to be highly energy efficient through the use of combined cycle gas turbines and recycled waste-heat.


We measure the energy performance of our upstream operations by calculating the energy used by, or lost from, our operations as a percentage of the energy produced by our operations. 

In 2015 the overall production/consumption and loss was 6.6% (2014 7.6%, 2013 7.5%). Approximately 5.3% of our production/consumption and loss was from energy consumption within our facilities, with the remaining 1.3% from flaring and venting.
In our operations, the production/consumption and loss measure over the past few years shows an overall increase, although the percentage is generally lower in our newer assets than in our maturing assets. This is because the amount of energy required to produce hydrocarbons from mature reservoirs, which become depleted of hydrocarbons and reservoir energy, does not decline at the same rate as the production declines. Also, more energy-intensive secondary and enhanced oil recovery techniques can contribute to increased energy consumption when used to maximize recovery and limit decline in certain assets. The decrease in production/consumption and loss in 2015 is primarily due to divestments in Alaska and a reduction in flaring.


We measure the energy performance of our refining business using the Solomon Energy Intensity Index® (EII®), an industry measure that benchmarks energy efficiencies. In 2015 overall refining EII® improved marginally by 0.7%. All of our refineries set and track progress against an EII® target.


Our petrochemicals businesses track energy consumption in terms of primary energy consumption per unit of production.

We are implementing new proprietary manufacturing processes at our petrochemicals facilities that substantially reduce the energy consumption required to make our products. 

Our Zhuhai 3 petrochemicals plant in China is implementing BP’s newest technology for producing purified terephthalic acid, used to make clothes, paint, plastic bottles and other items. Compared with conventional technology, Zhuhai 3 is expected to deliver around 65% lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Upstream production consumption/loss (indexed to 2010)

Refining energy intensity index performance (indexed to 2010)

Petrochemicals energy intensity (indexed to 2010)


The information on this page forms part of the information reviewed and reported on by Ernst & Young as part of BP's 2015 sustainability reporting. View the full assurance statement.

Related content