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2021: our year in pictures

Release date:
14 December 2021
In another extraordinary year for the world, our team went above and beyond to supply energy in 2021. From deep space Mars to deep sea Gulf of Mexico, via the sprawling desert of Oman, our people delivered in some far-reaching – and unexpected – places
20 21 Our year in pictures

The British Sailor ready for its hydrodynamic paint coating to be applied

Hull of a job

What's this ship doing under cover?  The huge 45,999-deadweight tonne tanker British Sailor is pictured in dry-dock in Singapore undergoing routine maintenance  ̶  but this was more than just a fresh lick of paint. Hydrodynamic coatings with enhanced anti-fouling properties were applied to the outer hull to improve the vessel’s performance. 


The coatings are expected to lead to in excess of 4% CO2 emissions reduction per vessel, over the next five-year period. There are six in total in the Mariner Class that are currently planned to have their coatings upgraded over the next year. This technology is one of a suite being used on bp’s vessels to improve efficiency, reduce fuel consumption, and lower emissions. 


At 183 metres long and 32 metres wide, recoating the hull required a lot of paint  ̶  more than 10,000 litres to be precise!


Go deeper

Working towards net zero shipping solutions.

A Thorntons convenience store customer picks up a snack in the US Midwest

Kerbside convenience 

US Midwest convenience favourite Thorntons joined the bp family in August, making bp a leading convenience operator in the region. 


The convenience market is growing, especially in the US, where we’ve seen five-fold sales growth in our ampm brand every year since 2010. And research shows that the convenience market is likely to double in 45 of the leading global economies by 2030.


As well as growing our presence in the US, we're also moving into growth markets like India.The first Jio-bp-branded mobility station opened just outside Mumbai, India. A joint venture between Reliance and bp, Jio-bp offers customers a wealth of services, from additivized fuels and free oil changes, to chai lattes and EV charging. 


Go deeper

Find out more about our first Jio-bp mobility station.

Argos is now located in 4,500 feet of water – that’s 15 times the height of the Statue of Liberty

Epic project

Our new Argos platform is pictured being towed out from the Kiewit Offshore Services fabrication yard, in Ingleside, Texas, to its operating site in the Gulf of Mexico.


The 60,000-tonne floating production unit (FPU) – equivalent to the weight of 170 fully-loaded jumbo jets – is the centrepiece of bp’s $9 billion Mad Dog 2 project. This was the final journey for the FPU, which had already travelled 16,000 miles from South Korea, where it was constructed.


The Mad Dog 2 project is part of our strategy to invest in resilient and focused hydrocarbons to help fund bp’s journey to become an integrated energy company.

Go deeper

Find out how we transport massive kit around the world

The new Aral pulse EV charging points at our retail station in Issel, Germany

Future forecourts

Is this what the forecourt of the future could look like? At Isselburg, it’s already here. This is our first site in Germany that has a separate canopy so that electric vehicle drivers (like ICE drivers) can stay dry while charging. These are 300kW chargers, which allow customers to charge for a range of 300 kilometres in just 10 minutes (if their car battery allows). We launched our Aral pulse brand at the beginning of this year and we’re on target to roll out 500 of these ultra-fast charging points by the end of the 2021. 


Meanwhile, at our Aral site in Kreuztal, retail team member Traudel certainly went above and beyond her regular duties when she found herself helping with an unexpected delivery – baby Pavel. Mum Elena gave birth on the back seat of her car while dad Boris had gone into the store to pay for their fuel. Traudel called an ambulance, wrapped the newborn in an Aral jacket, and took care of them all until the emergency crew arrived. That’s customer service.


Go deeper

Find out more about Our electric evolution.

Workers out in the field at Block 61 in Oman

Ramping up in Oman 

This picture comes from Block 61, an area larger than the size of Greater London in the Omani desert, which houses an epic project extracting tight gas from deep below the surface.


With the Ghazeer field online and production increased to 1.5 billion cubic feet – and associated condensate – the block now has the capacity to deliver approximately 35% of the country’s total gas demand. 


Natural gas has a significant role to play in decarbonizing the energy the world needs, not only by replacing coal, which produces twice the emissions when used to generate electricity, but also in supporting the growth of renewables. 


Go deeper

Find out more about the role of gas in the energy transition.

The Lightsource bp Bighorn solar array in Colorado, US, consists of 750,000 panels

Solar meets steel

In the US state of Colorado, our 50:50 joint venture, Lightsource bp, flipped the switch at the 300-megawatt Bighorn project powering the world’s first steel mill to run almost entirely on solar.


Bighorn shows how renewable energy can help to significantly decarbonize carbon-intensive industries such as steel. The 750,000-panel solar array will deliver renewable power to Xcel Energy and the EVRAZ steel company, cutting emissions from one of the hardest-to-abate sectors and creating what owner EVRAZ calls the “cleanest steel and engineered steel products in the world.” 


The project will enable Xcel Energy to abate 433,770 metric tons of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of taking 92,100 fuel-burning cars off the road each year. In the process, it will help to preserve more than 1,000 jobs at the mill.


Go deeper

Find out more about the Bighorn solar array.

A lab technician working on fuels at Castellón refinery in Spain

Castellón contributes to cleaner skies 

Our Castellón refinery in Spain became the first in the world to receive CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Plan for International Aviation) certification for the production of aviation biofuels. 


Sustainable feedstocks are used to produce sustainable aviation fuel or SAF, which is one way to make a material reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over the lifecycle of the fuel. The adoption of SAF is a key part of achieving the aviation industry’s goal of halving total carbon emissions by 2050, relative to 2005 levels.


Castellón is aiming to become a centre of excellence in the production of  SAF. The refinery also has a bright future in the energy transition to become an integrated clean energy hub. We recently announced plans to build, along with our partners, the largest green hydrogen generation project at a refinery in Spain.

Go deeper

Read our SAF explainer.

Perseverance takes a selfie while collecting rock samples on Mars. Image courtesy of NASA

Touch down

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover landed on the Red Planet to begin its two-year (or one Martian year) mission to seek signs of ancient life. While collecting rock samples, Perseverance took this selfie.


It’s thanks to specially engineered lubricants developed by our team at Castrol that Perseverance’s many precision instruments can operate in the planet’s extreme temperatures that can range from 20°C at the equator to -153°C at the poles.


We're over the moon that NASA has trusted our lubricants brand for more than 60 years.


Go deeper

Find out more at Castrol in space.

bp UK head of country Louise Kingham speaks to camera following the announcement

Hydrogen hub

This picture shows Louise Kingham, bp’s UK head of country and SVP for Europe, being interviewed by the local Scottish media following the announcement that bp has been selected as the preferred bidder to form a joint venture with the city council. We’ll work together to develop Scotland’s first scalable green hydrogen production facility to help the city decarbonize.


At the hub, power from renewable energy sources will be used to produce green hydrogen to power Aberdeen’s existing and future fleets of buses, heavy goods vehicles, and large vans. 


Through further investment, future phases could see production scaled up to supply larger volumes of hydrogen for rail, freight, marine, heat and, potentially, export. And that’s just one of a number of hydrogen projects bp is undertaking in the UK in support of the government’s target for 5GW of power to be generated using hydrogen energy by 2030. 


Go deeper

Find out about our other hydrogen projects in the UK.

Workers at Whiting refinery in Indiana, US

Team spirit

This image of our colleagues from Whiting refinery in Indiana received lots of likes when it was posted on our life@bp Instagram feed this year. 


We love to share news from our employees and the work they're doing to help bp and the world reach net zero. Last year, Whiting achieved a reduction of 1 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent through innovative emissions monitoring technologies, as well as purchasing electricity from our Whiting Clean Energy facility. 


Meanwhile, at Cherry Point in Washington State, a $269 million investment plan is in place to improve the refinery’s efficiency, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 160,000 tonnes a year (equivalent to removing 34,797 cars from the road), and increase its renewable diesel production capability.


Go deeper

Find out more about our plans to cut emissions at Cherry Point.

Port of Leith, which could be home to Scotland’s largest renewable energy hub

Winds of change 

This picture shows the Port of Leith in Edinburgh, where bp and partner EnBW are potential investors to build the largest renewable energy hub in Scotland, if successful in the ScotWind offshore wind leasing round. 


The proposed investment in the 175-acre site forms part of our joint bid – submitted in July – for offshore wind acreage off the east coast of Scotland, which could bring a potential £10 billion ($14 billion) of investments into accelerating Scotland’s energy transition and Scottish offshore wind infrastructure, including ports, harbours and shipyards. 


We are actively growing our offshore wind energy portfolio; we are partners with Equinor in the US, and have Preferred Bidder status for two advantaged leases in the Irish Sea with EnBW. We have also announced our intentions to bid in the Norwegian North Sea, and are looking at options in Poland.  


Go deeper

Find out more about our Scotwind leasing bid

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