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Jobs, investments and energy supplies: 10 things to know about BP’s impact across America

Release date:
September 18, 2018
BP’s operations across the U.S. contributed some $85 billion to the nation’s economy last year alone, according to the company’s newly published 2018 U.S. Economic Impact Report


Its business activities — from oil and gas exploration and production, to pipelines, refining, retail and petrochemicals, to marketing, trading and shipping, to renewable energy and technology — support more than 125, 000 American jobs from coast to coast, including around 14,000 BP employees.

Montage of employees

“Today, BP has a larger economic footprint in the U.S. than we do in any other country,” says BP America Chairman and President Susan Dio. “Across our U.S. business lines, we’ve achieved strong momentum and continue to invest in significant new projects.”


The report, now in its sixth year, provides a wealth of statistics about BP’s contributions to American prosperity. It also shows how the company’s U.S. operations are helping advance the global transition to a lower-carbon economy.


Did you know?

  • Through its heritage companies, BP’s history in the U.S. dates back to just after the Civil War.
  • BP has a larger economic footprint in the U.S. than it does in any other country.
  • Between 2005 and 2017, BP invested more than $100 billion in the U.S.



1. Tech identifies another 1 billion barrels in the Gulf…

BP is the largest energy investor in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico since 2005. Its cutting-edge technology helps the company produce oil more safely and efficiently. 


With one of the world’s largest commercial supercomputers, BP teams used advanced seismic processing to pinpoint an extra 1 billion barrels of oil in place around current production hubs last year. In other words, they found “new” fields within existing ones.


Seismic technology is crucial to uncover these deepwater resources. The latest innovation - called Wolfspar - is helping BP’s geoscientists see beneath thick, horizontal salt sheets. “Seeing deeper” provides an even better indication of where to drill offshore wells.


Gulf of Mexico platform

2. Efficiency equates to adding new oil field in Alaska…

Production levels at Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay, which is entirely operated by BP, remained consistent for three straight years between 2015 and 2017 - virtually unheard of in a 40-year-old oil and gas field.


And, in the same timeframe, BP Alaska improved its operating efficiency from 80 percent to 85 percent. That represents up to 15,000 more barrels of oil flowing through the Alaska pipeline every day - the equivalent of adding a whole new field within Prudhoe Bay.


FAST FACT: BP accounted for more than half of Alaska’s total oil production in 2017, averaging more than 280,000 barrels of oil per day from Prudhoe Bay.


3. Producing enough gasoline in Indiana to keep 7 million cars moving daily…

The Whiting Refinery, 17 miles southeast of downtown Chicago, produces enough gasoline each day to support the average daily fuel needs of more than 7 million cars. BP’s largest refinery on the planet produces millions of gallons of petroleum products for different transportation needs, including 10 million gallons of gasoline, 3.5 million gallons of diesel and 1.7 million gallons of jet fuel.


The site on the Lake Michigan shoreline also produces about 5 percent of all asphalt in the U.S.


Two employees at Whiting refinery

4. A pipeline network that would stretch from Chicago to London…

BP’s U.S. Pipelines and Logistics business (USPL) functions as the transportation and delivery hub for BP businesses and third parties across America, moving and storing the energy resources that power economic growth.


The combined network of pipelines owned or managed by USPL is long enough to stretch all the way from Chicago to London.



FAST FACT: In 2017, USPL formed a new master limited partnership — BP Midstream Partners LP — and completed the first initial public offering in BP history.


5. Delivering enough fuel to run all the cars in NY and NJ for a year…

Last year, BP delivered a total of 13.6 billion gallons of fuel to its American customers, including 7.3 billion gallons of BP-branded fuel. To put that in perspective, it was enough to run all the cars in New York and New Jersey for the entire year.


BP’s retail presence in the country consists of about 7,200 BP- and ARCO-branded sites, along with more than 1,000 ampm convenience stores in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Nevada.



FAST FACT: In 2017, nearly 300 BP-branded sites joined the retail network, and BP reintroduced its Amoco brand, making it available as a complementary brand for select U.S. retail stations.


Arco station

6. Petrochemicals from South Carolina can make 1 billion children’s backpacks a year…

BP remains America’s largest producer of purified terephthalic acid (or PTA), which is the main building block for thousands of everyday items including clothing, home textiles, carpets and plastic bottles. The Cooper River plant in South Carolina, which marks its 40th anniversary in 2018, can generate about 1.5 million tons of PTA each year - enough to make more than a billion children’s backpacks.


Over the past four decades, the site on the outskirts of Charleston has built a distinguished record of conservation leadership, receiving recognition for its environmental programs from the Wildlife Habitat Council, the National Land Conservation Conference and other nature groups.


7. Tech trends translate to venturing investments…

BP’s venturing arm has invested more than $300 million in dozens of U.S. companies since 2006. Among its investments in 2018, BP announced a $5 million stake in FreeWire, a California-based manufacturer of mobile electric vehicle rapid-charging systems.


Another company - California-based Fulcrum BioEnergy, in which BP has invested $40 million - marked a milestone this year: It started building a new plant in Nevada that will be America’s first commercial-scale operation diverting household garbage from landfills into a low-carbon, renewable transportation fuel product.

Cedar Creek 2 wind farm

8. A wind portfolio that can power all the homes in a city the size of Philadelphia…

With more than a dozen onshore wind farms in the U.S., BP Wind Energy’s net portfolio helped avoid around 2.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions in 2017. That number is roughly equivalent to the annual energy-related emissions of 248,000 typical homes - or the emissions produced by burning 2.5 billion pounds of coal.


In fact, BP is one of the top wind energy producers in the U.S.; its wind farms have a gross generating capacity of 2,259 megawatts. That is enough electricity to power all the homes in a city the size of Philadelphia. 

9. The top marketer of natural gas in North America…

BP remains the largest marketer of natural gas in North America, buying and selling more than 20 billion cubic feet each day. The company manages more than 11 billion cubic feet of transportation capacity and schedules gas flows on some 180 pipelines.


Natural gas is a crucial part of BP’s strategy to advance the energy transition, as it can dramatically reduce CO₂ emissions in the power sector. The numbers already point to this over the last decade or so: the growth of natural gas in electricity generation - displacing other fossil fuels - is the main reason that America’s energy-related CO2 emissions declined by 14 percent between 2005 and 2017. 

Three people on bicycles

10. Beyond business, making a difference in the community…

BP has donated more than $125 million to U.S. community programs over the last five years - supporting everything from disaster relief organizations to education initiatives for underprivileged children, and from world-class training for Olympic and Paralympic athletes to career transition opportunities for military veterans.


In 2017, U.S. employees contributed around $4.6 million in charitable donations and nearly 50,000 volunteer hours to good causes. The BP Foundation, a charity separate from but funded entirely by the company, matched these contributions with grants totaling about $5.2 million.