Deepwater oil and gas

BP’s technology is helping to extract oil and gas resources from deepwater environments safely and efficiently

Deepwater oil and gas resources account for around 6% of global oil production. BP has deepwater drilling interests in Angola, Brazil, Egypt, the Gulf of Mexico, India, the South China Sea and the UK, and we are pursuing further deepwater growth opportunities in Australia, Canada, Libya, Morocco, Trinidad & Tobago and Uruguay. 

Deepwater drilling map

Producing oil and gas from deepwater reservoirs creates many engineering and technical challenges. The oil and gas reservoir itself can be as much as 35,000 feet (10,660 metres) below sea level, under layers of hard rock, thick salt and tightly-packed sands. Once oil and gas are discovered in a deepwater field, massive production platforms and specially designed systems and pipelines are required to extract and transport the oil and gas to shore. 

New techniques can allow safe access to new sources of oil and gas. For example, we are working with industry and universities to develop technology to extract oil and gas from high pressure under-sea reservoirs – a resource that is beyond the reach of current deepwater drilling equipment.

Drilling operations

Our global wells organization is responsible for planning and executing all our wells operations across the world. We provide training to employees working in our drilling operations through our global wells institute.

We use technology to help monitor conditions in our wells. This technology is designed to help us make informed decisions, improving drilling efficiency and enhancing operational safety and integrity. We have monitoring centres in Angola, the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

We are committed to sharing what we have learned from the Deepwater Horizon accident in 2010 to advance safety capabilities and practices across the deepwater industry. For example, we worked with the Subsea Well Response Project to create a new intervention system for industry that aims to enhance international capabilities to respond to subsea well incidents. This equipment was delivered in 2013 to storage locations in Brazil, Norway, Singapore and South Africa.

We are also working with the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers to develop a consistently managed set of worldwide databases on industry-wide incidents and well releases in drilling, completion, well testing and intervention activities. 


The information on this page forms part of the information reviewed and reported on by Ernst & Young as part of BP's 2013 sustainability reporting. View the full assurance statement.