Downstream Technology

Beyond oil and gas production, technology plays a big role in helping BP ensure the safety and reliability of its refineries and chemical plants, and it also helps the company create high-quality, energy-efficient fuels and lubricants.
The BP campus in Naperville, Illinois, serves as the company’s U.S. technology hub for these operations and products. Scientists and engineers in Naperville test innovative ideas and share the results with BP facilities worldwide.
In its refineries, BP has developed and deployed advanced technologies to help prevent corrosion in processing units. For example, it uses phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) to conduct non-intrusive inspections. Deployed extensively at BP’s Cherry Point Refinery, and also at its Whiting Refinery during a recent modernization project, PAUT technology emits ultrasonic pulses to monitor the safety and soundness of pressure vessels, tanks and piping. This technique minimizes the amount of time a facility is out of operation, reduces turnaround costs and risks, and helps avoid production losses.

The company also has a long record of investing in technology to produce gasolines, diesel fuels and lubricants. In 2016, it launched a new gasoline with the additive Invigorate at BP-branded fuel stations. The new formula is specially designed to remove dirt from engines and help drivers get more miles per tank.1 BP fuel engineers developed it through rigorous and extensive testing, using more than 60 different industry-approved test methods and logging thousands of hours in vehicles and engines.
As for lubricants, BP’s Castrol business — which has its Western Hemisphere headquarters in Wayne, New Jersey — recently introduced the Nexcel oil cell, an easy-to-change unit containing both engine oil and filter. The Nexcel technology, which Castrol is working to include in future vehicle designs, will simplify the oil change process, facilitate the collection and recycling of used engine oil, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.