BP: Natural Gas Reserves and Production, by year
in billion cubic feet
in million cubic feet per day
  • Region: Worldwide
  • Time period: 2011 to 2022
  • Published: Feb 2023

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 27, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Sharp decline in natural gas reserves from 2021 to 2022

Between 2021 and 2022, BP experienced a dramatic reduction in natural gas reserves, dropping from 39,615 billion cubic feet to 18,481 billion cubic feet. This decline of over 53% marks the most significant yearly decrease within the data span, emphasizing a potential shift in resource management or external influences affecting reserve estimations.

Increasing trend in production until 2019 followed by fluctuations

Natural gas production showcased a consistent increase, peaking in 2019 at 9,102 million cubic feet per day. After reaching this zenith, production experienced fluctuations, with a noticeable decline in 2020 to 7,929 million cubic feet per day before stabilizing around 7,915 million cubic feet per day in 2021, and then dipping to 7,101 million cubic feet per day in 2022.

Correlation between reserves and production trends

Analyzing the relationship between natural gas reserves and production, it becomes evident that both metrics generally followed similar trends until 2021. For instance, a rise in reserves often coincided with increases in production, as seen from 2017 to 2018. However, the sharp reserve decrease in 2022 did not align with a proportionate drop in production, suggesting a possible strain on resource sustainability or efficiency improvements in production techniques.

2018 as a pivotal year for both reserves and production

The year 2018 stands out as a pivotal moment for BP's natural gas operations, recording the highest reserves and production within the dataset at 49,239 billion cubic feet and 8,659 million cubic feet per day, respectively. This year reflects the culmination of an upward trend, indicating a period of robust resource identification and extraction capability.

Variability in production despite reserves decline post-2018

Despite a post-2018 decline in natural gas reserves, production levels displayed resilience and variability rather than a consistent downturn. The production in 2019 reached its highest point, and although it declined in the following years, the decrease was not as steep or consistent as that of the reserves, underscoring operational adjustments or efficiency gains in extracting available resources.

Long-term decrease in reserves impacts future sustainability

From 2011 to 2022, BP's natural gas reserves showed a long-term decrease, falling from 41,659 billion cubic feet to 18,481 billion cubic feet. This downward trajectory raises concerns about the sustainability of BP's natural gas supply, considering the significant drop in reserves, particularly in the last year of the dataset, which might impact future production capabilities and strategic planning.

Frequently Asked Questions

What was the change in BP's natural gas reserves between 2021 and 2022?

BP's natural gas reserves significantly reduced from 39,615 billion cubic feet in 2021 to 18,481 billion cubic feet in 2022, a drop of over 53%.

How did the production trend of natural gas look over the years?

Natural gas production consistently increased until 2019, reaching a peak of 9,102 million cubic feet per day, after which it experienced fluctuations.

How has the long-term decrease in BP's natural gas reserves impacted its future sustainability?

The long-term decrease in reserves from 41,659 billion cubic feet in 2011 to 18,481 billion cubic feet in 2022 raises concerns about the sustainability of BP's natural gas supply.

Terms and Definitions

BP p.l.c. is a British multinational oil and gas company, one of the world's seven "supermajor" oil companies. It is engaged in the exploration for and production of oil, natural gas and other energy sources, as well as the refining, distribution and marketing of petroleum and petroleum products.

Natural gas is a fossil fuel that is formed when layers of buried plants, gases, and animals are exposed to intense heat and pressure over thousands of years. It is primarily methane and it also contains small amounts of hydrocarbon gas liquids and nonhydrocarbon gases. Mainly used as a source of heat and electricity generation, it's considered an essential energy source worldwide.

Natural gas reserves refer to the estimated quantities of natural gas that geological and engineering data demonstrate with reasonable certainty to be recoverable under existing economic and operating conditions. The location, quantity, and grade of the energy source are usually considered to be well established in such reserves.

Natural gas production is the process of extracting the natural gas from below the earth's surface, processing it to remove impurities, contaminants and natural gas liquids, and selling it to the end consumers. This process is often carried out using drilling techniques and includes extraction from both conventional and unconventional sources.

Conventional Natural Gas are reserves found in porous rock formations, such as sandstone, and require basic and traditional methods of extraction. This method of extraction includes drilling wells directly into the rock and allowing the pressure to push the gas to the surface.

Unconventional Natural Gas refers to gas found in dense rock formations such as shale, tight sandstones or coal seams. Due to low permeability of these deposits, unconventional methods, like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, are used to extract the natural gas.

Exploration and Production (E&P) is a key segment in the oil and gas industry that includes activities relating to searching for and extracting oil and gas reserves. Exploration involves the search for rock formations associated with oil or natural gas deposits, and production follows exploration.

Hydraulic Fracturing, or "fracking", is a process used to extract natural gas from unconventional reserves. It involves injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into a wellbore to create tiny fractures in the rock, enabling the trapped natural gas to flow more freely and be extracted.
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Natural gas is a clean, affordable energy source composed mostly of methane that is found in underground reserves. Extraction technology has made it widely available for electricity generation, industrial operations, heating, cooking, and vehicle fuel. Read more »