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Facts about petroleum

Download our petroleum fact sheet to learn more about oil and gas production. Find out about the properties of petroleum, how it is found and produced, and its many uses.


What is petroleum?

Petroleum is naturally occurring liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons found in rock formations below the Earth’s surface. Oil and gas can be extracted and refined into different types of energy fuels and materials that are used in everyday products. 

Facts about petroleum

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Globally, around 100 million barrels of oil and liquid fuels are used per day, which adds up to over 36 billion barrels per year. 

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Growth in economic activity, global population and transport have increased demand for fuels across the world.

 Petroleum animation icon Demand growth and natural field decline suggest the world will need 30 million new barrels per day by 2025, which is equal to roughly one third of total global supply today.
 Petroleum animation icon Even in a decarbonising world, deepwater oil and advantaged gas close to established infrastructure can offer competitive returns for decades to come. 

Why does BHP produce petroleum?


Petroleum fuels make up almost half of total energy supply worldwide.

On average, we produce approximately 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day from our operated and non-operated assets around the world. That’s enough petrol to fuel a medium sized car for 10,000 trips around the world. 

Energy demand will rise over the next decade as populations grow, living standards increase and urbanization continues. In terms of supply, it is expected that current oil and gas reserves will continue to decline and new supply will need to be found to meet demand.  


What's the future for BHP's petroleum business?


Petroleum animation icon We are planning US$700 million exploration program for future petroleum growth opportunities.
 Petroleum animation icon We have a pipeline of projects and a targeted exploration campaign in the deepwater areas of Trinidad and Tobago, offshore Mexico, Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Canada. 

Where does BHP produce petroleum?

BHP produces oil and gas predominantly in our heartland basins of the US Gulf of Mexico, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago. We are also working to find our future heartlands through an active appraisal and exploration program in Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Western Gulf of Mexico, and Eastern Canada.

Map of where BHP produces petroleum

How is petroleum produced?


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First, we identify the areas that are likely to contain petroleum and then assess their economic and technological potential through seismic acquisition and geologic research.

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When these areas are selected, exploratory wells are drilled to confirm petroleum is in the area.

If petroleum is found, we determine how to best bring it to the surface. 

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Design and construct

If all checks out, we build a producing facility to produce the petroleum.

This process can take many years and requires highly technical experts to do this work safely and effectively. 

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When built, the petroleum is pumped to the surface. 

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When at the surface, the oil and gas is transported to markets on tankers and through pipelines.

Our petroleum business.

Watch the video to find out what oil and gas means to us.

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