In the 1960s, it became clear to BP that the troubled waters of the North Sea hid considerable potential and could not be left unexplored.
By 1965, the company had already been awarded its first offshore licenses and had begun exploration, becoming the first oil and gas firm to strike gas in the southern North Sea.
Soon, a revolutionary era would begin in Northern Europe, with BP at the forefront of offshore technology.
BP North Sea; The Story So Far
In the 1970s, BP discovered the giant Forties oil field, “confirming the North Sea as a globally significant oil and gas province”.
Up to date, the company estimates an investment of more than £35 billion in the region, having produced more than five billion barrels of oil and gas.
In the future, the supermajor plans to invest a further £10 billion in the North Sea region.
In the UK, BP has been a leading operator from its Aberdeen base, the company’s North Sea hub since it started exploring the region.
Technology is Key in North Sea Development
Since the first discovery, the company focused on strengthening its asset base in the region and now counts on infrastructure installed in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
This also means BP needs to focus on constantly upgrading this infrastructure to enable longer-term production and optimisation.
In fact, the company sees technology at the core of its operations, “from operating safely to discovering and recovering more resources”.
To this effect, BP has applied new and existing technologies across its assets and has been at the forefront of using new seismic acquisition techniques.
“Technology has allowed us to safely access reservoirs that were out of reach 30 years ago and recover more from existing fields,” the company says in its website.
Some of its pioneering techniques include ocean-bottom cabling (OBC) and wide azimuth towed streamers (WATS), as well as enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques.