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The Arctic

We operate the Prudhoe Bay onshore oilfield on Alaska’s North Slope. The Arctic offers opportunities to help meet the world’s growing energy needs, but there are also specific challenges due to its unique nature. These challenges range from environmental, social and political, to operational, technological and commercial

We have some investments in the offshore Arctic in Greenland and Canadian and Alaskan Beaufort Sea. There are no physical operations taking place in these locations.



We hold a 19.75% share in Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company and remain committed to our strategic investment, while complying with all relevant sanctions. BP does not currently have operations in the offshore Russian Arctic or directly partner with Rosneft on any of its offshore Arctic licences. BP has one onshore Arctic exploration joint venture in the Yenisey-Khatanga area.


Working safely

Our operations in Alaska have government-approved land, air, waste, wildlife and water use permits and oil spill response plans that consider the sensitivity of the Arctic. We share our knowledge and experience in the Arctic with our partners to help deliver safe and responsible operations in this sensitive environment.


Environmental monitoring

We provide support to a number of environmental studies and monitoring programmes conducted by academics, government agencies and non-governmental organizations in and around the Prudhoe Bay oilfield. This includes studies on permafrost, ocean currents, wildlife and freshwater systems. For example, in terms of wildlife monitoring we:


  • Sponsor a study to understand typical polar bear behaviour and assess the potential impact from industry in Alaska. We conduct aerial surveys with infrared cameras to detect maternal polar bear dens so that we can avoid, mitigate and minimize any impacts.
  • Support research into grizzly bears, which looks at population, habitat use and the potential impact of oil and gas activities. Data from the study helps us to identify and avoid known grizzly bear den locations.
  • Sponsor a tundra nesting birds long-term monitoring programme in Alaska. The ongoing monitoring is helping document changes in the nesting bird population in the oilfields over time, while also contributing to a better understanding of:
    • Potential impacts from industry.
    • The relationship between climate change and nest success.
    • The degree to which predator abundance influences nest success.
    • The thousands of migratory birds that return to the Arctic annually for breeding.