Trading and shipping

Based primarily in Houston and Chicago, our US marketing and trading teams support our trading and shipping (T&S) business.

A large ship travels in the ocean.

The numbers tell the story

bp buys and sells about 16 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day (Platts Daily June 2021)

bp manages 11 billion cubic feet of natural gas transportation capacity on average annually

bp transports natural gas on more than 300 pipelines across the continent

bp completed about 3,600 shipping voyages in 2020

bp moved approximately 265 million tons of cargo to or from US ports in 2020

Our integrated approach

T&S is one of the world’s leading energy trading houses. Our marketers and traders work with partners to buy, sell and move energy, integrating our products and services to provide energy solutions for more than 3,500 North American customers annually. These include retail energy providers, power generators, producers, municipalities, private equity firms, renewable energy developers and natural gas consumers.

T&S is the largest marketer of natural gas in North America[1] and one of its top wholesale power marketers.[2] T&S also markets and trades natural gas liquids (NGLs), oil & refined products, as well as environmental, renewable energy and financial products.

In T&S, bp has one of the world’s most developed energy trading businesses. Its distinctive expertise in trading, optimizing flows, managing price risk and developing customer solutions can be leveraged to lend competitive advantage in decarbonizing our business.

Carol Howle
EVP, trading and shipping

Reducing emissions

By 2050, we see T&S’s portfolio of traded and marketed products helping to decarbonize the global energy mix. Beyond bp’s investments in renewable energy, T&S has been developing several other offerings to help customers meet their sustainability needs.

We are already one of the largest suppliers of renewable natural gas (RNG or biogas) to the US transportation sector. For example, we generate environmental credits from biogas through the federal Renewable Fuel Standard and the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

We have a robust carbon offset portfolio in North America, providing project offsets in combination with natural gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and propane supplies. bp has recently completed both carbon-offset natural gas and carbon-offset propane deals in the US and a carbon-offset LNG deal in Mexico, which creates a model bp can now replicate in markets like the US.

As the largest marketer of natural gas in the US, bp views its vast natural gas portfolio as having a key role to play in advancing the energy transition. Natural gas can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the power and hard-to-abate industrial and transport sectors, compared to some incumbent fuels. It also serves as an abundant, affordable and reliable partner to renewables. For example, switching from coal to natural gas in the power sector reduces lifecycle GHG emissions (including both carbon dioxide (CO₂) and methane emissions) by about 50% when producing electricity and by about 33% when providing heat.[3] Natural gas can be a source of near-zero carbon energy when combined with carbon capture use and storage (CCUS), either as a direct source of energy to the power and industrial sectors or to produce blue hydrogen.

Lower carbon shipping

bp's shipping fleet features some of the most advanced tankers anywhere in the industry: bp vessels have the latest, most fuel-efficient hull forms, engines, cargo management technology and operational systems.

For example, bp has made upgrades to its fleet of LNG carriers that enable them to use approximately 25% less fuel and emit less nitrogen oxides. The gas combustion system in our LNG tankers minimizes the risk of methane emissions into the atmosphere, and the liquefaction plants on those tankers can turn evaporated natural gas back into LNG and pump it to the cargo tanks. Each vessel is also equipped with an exhaust gas recirculation system that reduces nitrogen oxide emissions. Our LNG tankers are servicing bp’s 20-year liquefaction contract with the terminal in Freeport, Texas.

To continue delivering sustainable emissions reductions, we have successfully trialed the use of low carbon fuels in certain bp vessels, and we are planning to install additional energy-saving technologies in the near future.

  • [1]

    Source: Platts Daily April 2021

  • [2]

    Source: Megawatt Daily, 2021 Wholesale Power Sales Statistics (June 16, 2021)

  • [3]

    IEA report – The Role of gas in today’s energy transitions

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