The company previously began integrating additive manufacturing to produce parts within its chemicals division, including agitators used inside catalytic reactors.
According to recent comments from David Eyton, BP’s head of technology, “3D printers are fantastic for making quite bespoke devices.”
“IT COULD BE TRANSFORMATIONAL FOR PRODUCT SUPPLY CHAINS [AS] YOU CAN MAKE IT WHERE YOU NEED IT.”
3D printing is a manufacturing technique that creates physical objects from digital models using a range of materials from metals to resins. The ‘printer’ deposits very thin layers of material from the ground up, side-to-side and backward and forwards to build the object.
The oil and gas industry – and many others – see opportunities to use this technology, especially to produce parts on-demand in a specific material. For example, 3D printers on an offshore facility may mean complex components can be manufactured in remote locations, saving time and improving efficiency. Uses of 3D printing is set to grow over the next 10 years as applications are identified and opportunities arise with new materials and equipment.
The concept has been around for more than 30 years, but the increasing sophistication of the technology, advances in digital technologies and lower equipment costs mean it is now on the verge of becoming mainstream.
What impact could it have on the energy sector?
According to Accenture, there are two drivers for the oil and gas industry. The first is to reduce costs and increase operational efficiency, for example by producing new parts that weren’t available for the manufacture or improving the design of current elements to enhance safety, efficacy, and reduce costs.
The second is that in the Downstream, 3D printing represents a potential new revenue stream for oil and gas companies who can provide the chemical powders and plastics used as ‘ink’ by these printers.
Oil market conditions should improve over the coming months, BP CEO Bob Dudley told CNBC.
His comments come at a time when energy market participants expect U.S. sanctions on crisis-stricken Venezuela, as well as OPEC-led production cuts, to offset a potential supply glut this year.
“As we look it, it feels like the markets will be firmer,” Dudley said, when asked for his energy market forecast for 2019.
“I couldn’t predict the oil price but we are planning BP between $50 and $65,” he added.
Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, was trading at $62.22 a barrel Tuesday afternoon, down 0.4 percent, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood at $54.30, down 0.5 percent.-
BPX Colorado economic investment
In September 2018, BPX Energy formally opened its new, 160,000-squarefoot headquarters in Denver. With operations that span six states — Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming — BPX Energy is one of America’s largest natural gas producers. It also produces oil, condensate and natural gas liquids. In 2017, its investment and operating expenditures totaled more than $1.5 billion.
In 2018, BP greatly expanded its BPX Energy when it signed a $10.5 billion deal with BHP to purchase world-class unconventional oil and gas assets in the Permian-Delaware basin in Texas, along with two premium positions in the Eagle Ford and Haynesville basins in Texas and Louisiana. These assets currently produce 190,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, of which about 45 percent are liquid hydrocarbons.
BPX Energy currently is the largest operator in the Colorado portion of the San Juan Basin, one of North America’s leading sources of coalbed methane gas. The business operates around 1,350 wells in the Colorado San
Juan Basin, and those wells collectively span more net acres than a city
twice the size of Denver.
BP also owns and operates the Florida River gas plant, which processes up
to 280 million cubic feet of methane each day. Elsewhere in Colorado, BP Wind Energy is the operating partner of the Cedar Creek 2 wind farm in Weld County. The 30,000-acre site has 122 turbines with a total capacity to generate about 248 megawatts of wind power, which is enough electricity to power roughly 65,000 average American homes.
BP operates around 1,350 wells
in the Colorado portion of the
San Juan Basin.
190 million+ Capital and operating spend
2,300+ Total jobs supported
330+ BP employees
$60 million+ Property, production, royalties
and state/ local income/ franchise taxes paid
$2.1 million+ Community spend (2013-2017)