Downstream Technology

Beyond oil and gas production, technology plays a big role in helping BP enhance the safety and reliability of its refineries and petrochemical 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 and chemical plants, BP develops and applies technologies that enhance operational integrity, boost conversion efficiency and reduce emissions. For example, at its Whiting Refinery, BP uses the steam generated by operations to help power the refinery. This has led to a reduction in Whiting’s indirect greenhouse gas emissions, with more electricity generated on-site. 

“Technology underpins all that we do across BP’s downstream businesses — advancing safety and reliability, optimizing production, increasing operational efficiency, and creating innovative products,” says Mike Ingraham, BP’s vice president of refining technology and engineering. 

BP also has a long record of investing in technology to produce high-performance gasolines for U.S. drivers. In 2016, the company launched a new gasoline with the Invigorate additive at BP-branded fuel stations. The new formula is specially designed to help remove dirt from engines and give drivers more miles per tank.1 

BP’s global lubricants business — which operates under the Castrol brand name — has its Western Hemisphere headquarters in Wayne, New Jersey. 

Castrol has been a pioneer in lubricant technology for over a century, with its products working in extreme environments from the deepest oceans on Earth to the surface of Mars. Castrol also brings innovation, sustainability and performance to everyday consumers with products like EDGE Bio-Synthetic, which helps protect engines and improve performance while being formulated with 25 percent sugarcane-based oil compounds.2 

In addition, many of Castrol’s engine oils contain BP’s proprietary S3 additive chemistry, which was developed at the Wayne technology center. These advanced lubricants maintain their viscosity while helping improve the cleanliness of today’s high-performance engines.