BP has spent more than half a century exploring and developing Alaska’s oil and gas resources, while playing an important role in driving economic growth and supporting local communities throughout the state.
The company began working in Alaska in 1959, started drilling at the massive Prudhoe Bay oil field in 1968, and helped build the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System in the mid- 1970s. Since Prudhoe Bay began production in 1977, it has generated more than 12.5 billion barrels of oil — far exceeding initial projections — thanks in part to enhanced oil recovery technologies that BP pioneered.
Four decades after starting up, Prudhoe Bay is the most prolific oilfield in U.S. history and continues to support thousands of jobs.
Alaska depends on Prudhoe Bay’s oil output to help fuel its economy and finance government services.
“Alaska must compete at this lower for longer oil price,” says Janet Weiss, president of BP’s Alaska region. “Prudhoe Bay has repeatedly defied the odds and remains a major contributor to U.S. energy security and to the state’s economy. But it will take improved efficiencies and technologies and sound fiscal policies to keep the Alaska oil and gas industry competitive.”
BP has a significant business interest in Alaska’s North Slope. The company operates the entire Greater Prudhoe Bay area, which consists of the Prudhoe Bay field and a number of smaller fields. This area produces around 55 percent of Alaska’s oil and gas, and in 2016 it averaged nearly 281,000 barrels of oil equivalent each day. BP also owns interests in seven other North Slope oil fields, including Alaska’s newest oil and gas field, Point Thomson.
Through its investments and operations, the company makes enormous contributions to Alaska’s economic and fiscal health. BP supports more than 10,300 jobs across the state, and in 2016 alone it spent more than $1.2 billion with vendors in Alaska, while paying $464 million in taxes, royalties and other government payments.
BP also has spent the past few years working with industry partners and the state government to advance the Alaska liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, which, if sanctioned, would move North Slope gas to global markets. BP continues to support the state-led Alaska LNG project, and it has a joint cooperation agreement with the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, which has assumed responsibility for technical and regulatory issues associated with the project.
In 2016, BP donated nearly $3.5 million to Alaska community organizations, with its employees supporting more than 800 specific initiatives and about 230 youth teams.
Over the past 30 years, the company has awarded more than $3.5 million to 825 graduating high school seniors from across the state as part of the Principals’ and Commissioner’s Scholarship program. Meanwhile, the BP Teacher of Excellence program receives more than 1,000 Alaska teacher nominations each year, and it has recognized around 750 teachers since 1995.
* Vendor figures for the year ended December 31, 2017. BP jobs figures as of June 30, 2016. Community spend includes BP Foundation.