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Upstream technology

Technology underpins all that we do in the Upstream. Our strengths in exploration, deepwater, giant fields and gas value chains are supported by technology leadership positions in seismic imaging, enhanced oil recovery, unconventionals and digital technologies

Seismic imaging

Seismic imaging is a powerful lens into the subsurface. We use it to map the subsurface to find hydrocarbons when exploring, to appraise and characterize reservoirs, and to detect changes in these reservoirs over time as oil and gas are produced.


That is why we have invested in developing technologies such as ISS® and WOLFSPAR® and capabilities such as our centre for high performance computing in Houston, and is why we are recognized as the industry leader in seismic imaging.

Enhanced oil recovery

The average recovery factor of an oilfield across the industry is just 35% – in other words, we typically leave more oil in the ground than we remove.


Enhanced oil recovery is a set of technologies that aim to increase the recovery factor by improving reservoir sweep and displacing more oil from rock at the pore-scale.


We have a solid track record of deploying DESIGNER GAS®  EOR technologies, such as miscible gas and vaporisation, and DESIGNER WATER® technologies such as LOSAL® across our fields worldwide.


Wells and facilities

In wells and facilities, we aim to be competitive in several ways: by partnering with industry experts or following a first-mover with early implementation or by deploying a technology rapidly across our portfolio.

Technologies like these help us to deliver improved levels of safety, reliability and efficiency across our operations, as well as to find and recover more hydrocarbons to meet the world’s energy needs.



We are building a leadership position in unconventional gas developments, leveraging our strong position in the US Lower 48 and in our growing global portfolio – for example, in Oman and China.


Technology has been behind the breakthrough in the development of unconventional gas fields, and it continues to play a key role in making large-scale developments economically viable.

Digital – the Connected Upstream®

BP has set out an ambition to become the leading digital upstream company by building the Connected Upstream®

It has three parts:


  • Connecting people and data: We are freeing up our technical, commercial and supporting functions staff to spend less time hunting data and more time analysing it – driving productivity, innovation and better decision making.
  • Connecting physical and digital assets: We are also building applications which integrate and interrogate data from our reservoirs, wells and facilities, helping us to optimize production from our wells.
  • Connecting machine intelligence with business decisions: We are also using machine learning and automation to enable and embed data-driven business decisions, such as automating manual processes, automating weight on bit and rotation speed in hard rock drilling, and learning from historical pattern-matching to optimize well planning.
DESIGNER GAS® – chemicals & equipment for use in oil wells; oil and gas field services (BP p.l.c.)
DESIGNER WATER® – chemicals & equipment for use in oil wells; oil and gas field services (BP p.l.c.)
ISS™ – seismic acquisition equipment & services; oil field exploration services (BP p.l.c.)
LOSAL® – fluids for use in drilling oil & gas wells; oil extraction services (BP p.l.c.)
WOLFSPAR® – seismic acquisition equipment & services; oil field exploration services BP (p.l.c.)
For more information on the licensing of BP’s DESIGNER WATER, DESIGNER GAS and LOSAL technologies and associated oil and gas extraction services, oil prospecting and well testing services, oil and gas well treatment services for enhanced oil recovery and increased production and improved efficiency and output, related business consultancy, engineering, technological consulting, scientific and advisory services, all for oil and gas extraction, please contact BP Upstream Technology at EOR@bp.com or 501 Westlake Park Blvd, Houston, Texas, 77079 USA.