Petroleum is a naturally occurring liquid found in rock formations below the surface of the earth.

What is petroleum?


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

Why does BHP produce petroleum?


Petroleum fuels make up almost half of total energy supply worldwide. On average, we produce approximately 280,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day from our operated and non-operated assets. That’s enough petrol to fuel a medium sized car for 10,000 trips around the world.

Energy demand is expected to rise over the next decade as populations grow, living standards increase and urbanisation continues. 

Where is petroleum found?


We produce oil and gas predominantly in our heartland basins of the US Gulf of Mexico, Australia, and Trinidad and Tobago. We also have appraisal and exploration programs in Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, the Western Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Canada.

How is petroleum produced?

  • Access: We identify the areas likely to contain petroleum and then assess their economic and technological potential through seismic acquisition and geologic research.
  • Explore: 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.
  • Design and construct: 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.
  • Produce: Once the facility is built, petroleum is pumped to the surface.
  • Distribute: The oil and gas is transported to markets on tankers and through pipelines.

What is the future of our petroleum business?


We've recently announced our intent to create a global top 10 independent energy company through an agreement to pursue a merger of BHP’s Petroleum business with Woodside