Technology is the foundation of all that we do across the Downstream businesses
BP technologist Gareth Bracchi’s interest in innovation and engineering was sparked by playing with Lego as a boy. Innovation played a crucial part in the development of Castrol Magnatec with Dualock technology, one of our range of engine oils for passenger cars which is designed to protect against all forms of modern driving.
In our refineries and chemical plants, BP develops and applies technologies that enhance operational integrity, boost conversion efficiency and reduce emissions.
Our scientists and technologists also help the company create high-quality, energy efficient fuels and lubricants.
Our fuels with ACTIVE? technology are designed to fight engine dirt and protect against it building up. Castrol MAGNATEC? with DUALOCK? contains our latest patented molecules that lock together to form a powerful layer of engine protection reducing both warm-up and stop-start engine wear by up to 50%.
Our scientists and technologists are based at seven major technology centres in the US, UK and Germany.
Refining, technology and engineering (RTE)
Technology enables our refineries refineries to process hundreds of crude oil blends a year, safely, reliably and efficiently.
It strengthens safety by helping us predict how crude oils impact individual refineries, along with new methods for monitoring our infrastructure for potential corrosion and processing issues.
For example, our Cherry Point refinery in the US uses phased array ultrasonic testing to confirm the safety and soundness of piping systems and pressure vessels.
Simulators also train workers at our refineries and chemical plants, allowing them to practice different job tasks – such as unit start-ups and shutdown and pump and valve operations – in both normal and abnormal conditions.
Formulated products technology (FPT)
Technology enables us to develop and test innovative fuels and lubricants.
As engine technologies evolve, we work to anticipate and understand these changes to ensure we develop fuels that complement the latest engine innovations – while continuing to benefit older engines, too.
We have rolled out our new BP fuels with ACTIVE? technology in 14 countries including Australia, South Africa and the US. These fuels use an innovative formula designed to actively fight dirt in the car’s engine and protect it against build-up. This helps keep engines running smoothly and efficiently and helps reduce the risk of unplanned maintenance.
Our lubricants business produces premium products that reduce heat, noise and wear caused by friction.
Petrochemical technology (PCT)
Our global petrochemicals business operates 16 manufacturing facilities across 10 countries with a production capacity of more than 18 million tonnes per year.
World-leading technology enables each of our product lines including Para-xylene (PX), Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) and acetic acid, as well as our low carbon PTA solution to manufacturers, brand owners and their customers. PTAIR? supports a carbon footprint of around 30% lower than the average European PTA production.
We also licence our proprietary technology. In India, Reliance Industries has successfully commissioned its paraxylene plant in Gujarat using BP’s proprietary technology. The plant, with a capacity of 1.8 million tonnes, is the world’s largest paraxylene unit and is built with our leading crystallization technology, which delivers greater energy efficiency.
Why science and engineering matter
Meet our chief scientist, Angela Strank, who joined the organization more than 30 years ago as a geologist, and Rachel Fort, a graduate chemist. They discuss how to encourage young people to study science
ACTIVE? – fuels (BP p.l.c.)
DUALOCK? – motor vehicle lubricants (Castrol Limited)
MAGNATEC? – motor vehicle lubricants (Castrol Limited)
PTAIR? – chemicals for use in the petrochemicals industry; purified terephthalic acid (BP p.l.c.)