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BP - a major player in the largest oil field in America

December 11, 2012

BP is the one of the world’s ‘super major’ hydrocarbon producers. It has had its reputation sullied by the Deepwater Horizon oil spil disaster of 2010. Yet in Alaska, BP has been a corporate superstar producing North Slope oil and gas over 3 decades.

After more than 33 years of production, Prudhoe Bay remains the largest oil field in North America and ranks among the 20 largest fields ever discovered worldwide. When production started at the Prudhoe Bay field the recovery rate of the 25 billion barrels of oil in place was expected to reach 40 percent—now it’s more than 60%.

In 2010 BP’s Prudoe Bay operations:

Meanwhile, the mother corp, BP, is still facing the consequences of the disastrous Deepwater Horizon oil spill that occurred in April, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced BP’s temporary suspension of being able to bid on contracts with the US government. BP executives agreed to create a $20 billion spill response fund. Yet the eventual costs to BP of this spill could easily exceed this amount. BP recently sold its non-strategic Gulf assets.

BP plc (ticker BP on NYSE) is a British multinational oil and gas company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest energy company, with 2011 revenues topping $387 B.


BP has operated in Alaska since 1959. It is the largest player on the North Slope. The company has a solid record of accomplishments, not the least of which is the Northstar offshore platform and a plethora of innovative drilling technologies.

Alaska’s tax structure has come under a fire of criticism for levying high taxes at high oil prices, the sort of prices that have driven the Lower 48 to a boom in production. Alas, Alaska’s oil production is still declining, unlike North Dakota, Texas several other states.