Deepwater oil and gas
Deepwater production is a challenging frontier and a key part of our strategy
Deepwater oil and gas resources are an important part of the energy mix. They account for around 6% of global oil production, a figure that is expected to rise to nearly 9% by 2030.
BP is integrating engineering, technology and operations to work safely and efficiently in deepwater environments. We have deepwater drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico, Angola, Egypt and Brazil and we are also pursuing further deepwater growth opportunities in Australia, Canada, India, Indonesia, Libya, Namibia, Trinidad & Tobago, the South China Sea, the UK and Uruguay.
Map of our deepwater drilling operations and opportunities
Drilling for and 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 kilometres 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.
Implementing lessons learned from the Gulf of Mexico accident
BP has been working to centralize and standardize our approach to drilling standards and projects oversight with the establishment of the global wells organization (GWO) and the global projects organization in 2011. The GWO employs more than 2,000 people, bringing functional wells expertise into a single organization with common global standards. The GWO works with our safety and operational risk function with a view to reducing risk in drilling.
Since July 2011, BP has implemented enhanced drilling standards for operations in the Gulf of Mexico. These standards on blowout preventers, cementing and oil spill response capabilities, exceed existing regulatory requirements in the US and strengthen oversight of contractors.
Mobile well cap for BP operations
We are advancing our capability to respond to potential incidents and work with our industry to further enhance access to equipment and technologies around the world. BP’s global deepwater well-capping and tooling package is stored in Houston and can be deployed in a matter of days to anywhere in the world in the event of a deepwater well blowout. The equipment is designed to operate in water depths of up to 10,000 feet. It includes a remotely operated vehicles intervention system, a subsea dispersant injection system and subsea debris removal equipment and a deepwater well cap.
We continue to work with governments, regulators and the industry to share lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon accident and how they can be applied in deepwater operations around the world.
Monitoring safety and environmental issues
We have a number of technologies to help us to monitor safety and environmental issues in our deepwater drilling operations.
BP Well Advisor
BP Well Advisor is a suite of tools to monitor conditions in the well. It uses real-time operational data to monitor safety-critical operations and equipment. It can therefore help drilling, rig and platform operators to make informed and timely decisions, enhance operational safety and integrity, and improve drilling efficiency. We used BP Well Advisor in Azerbaijan, the North Sea and Brazil in 2012.
Houston monitoring centre
Our Houston monitoring centre is a state-of-the-art facility that provides an additional level of assurance to offshore teams on our operated rig operations in the Gulf of Mexico. With real-time information feeds, live video and constant communication with colleagues on the rigs, teams at the facility monitor data from drilling operations 24 hours a day. Onshore experts can escalate issues up the chain of command offshore if they spot potential incidents.
The information on this page forms part of the information reviewed and reported on by Ernst & Young as part of BP's 2012 sustainability reporting. View the full assurance statement.