Exploration and Production

BP’s oil and gas exploration and production division is one of its core businesses, globally and in the United States. Teams in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska and onshore areas of the lower 48 states are responsible for finding and safely extracting the energy resources America needs.

Deepwater Gulf

BP has more lease blocks than any other company — covering an area roughly equal in size to Connecticut — and, over the past decade, the company has been the deepwater gulf’s single biggest investor.

BP operates four large production platforms (Atlantis, Thunder Horse, Mad Dog and Na Kika) and holds interests in four non-operated hubs (Mars, Mars B, Ursa and Great White). It is working to expand production from its existing portfolio of world-class assets, through field extensions and a proposed second platform at the Mad Dog field. It also is partnering with Chevron and ConocoPhillips to develop or explore several recent discoveries in the Paleogene trend, including the Gila field, the Tiber field and the Gibson prospect. In 2014, BP’s average daily oil and gas production in the deepwater gulf was about 252,000 barrels of oil equivalent.


In Alaska, BP’s operations in and around the giant Prudhoe Bay field, located on the North Slope, account for 50 percent of the state’s oil and gas production. As of 2014, BP operated nine oil fields in the Greater Prudhoe Bay region and owned significant interests in six fields others operate. The company is maintaining its presence in the region by drilling more wells, improving existing wells and increasing seismic imaging.

It also is enhancing safety at Prudhoe Bay through the use of unmanned aerial systems. Last year, BP received the Federal Aviation Administration’s first commercial license for drone use over land. Meanwhile, the company is working to progress Alaska’s liquefied natural gas project. In 2014, average daily production in BP-operated Alaska fields in which the company has part ownership was about 418,000 barrels of oil equivalent.

Lower 48 onshore

In the lower 48 states, BP’s onshore business now is independently operated but still wholly owned. BP chose to separate its lower 48 operations so they could be more flexible and agile, and thus more competitive, in a rapidly changing environment.

The Lower 48 business spans a geographic footprint of 5.5 million gross acres, which is nearly as large as New Jersey, and it is expanding its activity by adding rigs and deploying advanced technologies. In 2014, BP’s average daily oil and gas production in the Lower 48 was about 290,000 barrels of oil equivalent.