BP seeks access to key producing basins in Rockies, sees move as strategic platform for growth

BP (ticker: BP) is moving a U.S. headquarters from Houston to Denver.

The company said its U.S. Lower 48 onshore Denver headquarters operations will be closer to its asset position in the Rocky Mountain region, which the company designated as “an important energy hub of the future.”

“In some ways, this is a homecoming for us,” said David Lawler, CEO of BP Lower 48. “With two thirds of our operated oil and natural gas production and proved reserves in the Rockies, world-class universities nearby and a wealth of industry expertise in the region, Denver is a logical – and strategic – place for us to be and a natural fit for our business.”

BP has signed a lease for 86,000 square feet of office space in the Riverview building at 1700 Platte St. in the Lower Highlands district near downtown Denver. The company anticipates the office will open with at least 200 employees, including the CEO and executive leadership team, with more staff to be added later.

BP Moving to Denver from Houston

Image: TRYBA Architects

“We look forward to becoming a bigger part of the Denver community and state of Colorado, and are grateful to Mayor Hancock and Gov. Hickenlooper for their support in this endeavor,” Lawler said.

A number of employees from the company’s current head office in Houston will relocate to Denver, with others remaining in Houston to manage the company’s substantial operating assets in Texas.

“Houston will remain a large and important center for our business, and we have no plans to change that,” he said. “The same is true for Oklahoma City, which will remain a key hub for managing our assets in the Mid-Continent region. However, we believe this is another important step on our path to become a premier onshore operator and set it up for long-term success.”

Since early 2015, when BP began operating its U.S. Lower 48 business as a separate entity, the business has achieved significant financial and operational improvements, largely through the use of innovative drilling and completions techniques, the company said, and increased production and added acreage through acquisitions.

BP’s U.S. Lower 48 onshore operations span five states — Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming — and seven oil and gas basins, covering an area roughly the size of New Jersey.

With a material resource base of approximately 7.5 billion barrels across 6 million net acres, the business has average daily net production of approximately 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent.

The business produces natural gas — along with oil, condensate and gas liquids — from both conventional and unconventional rock formations.

BP’s Lower 48 unit is the largest operator in the Colorado side of the San Juan Basin, where the company’s business interests in 1,300 wells span more net acres than a city twice the size of Denver, BP said. About 30 percent of the unit’s production comes from the San Juan Basin, which contains one of the best coalbed methane reservoirs in the world, BP said. Its operations in the San Juan are based in Durango, Colorado, and Farmington, New Mexico.

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