BP to Spend $9bn on Exploration and Fuel Stations in Australia
BP to spend $9bn on exploration and fuel stations in Australia.Reuters

Oil and gas major BP will reportedly spend $9.3bn this decade, on exploration and on its filling station network, in Australia.

BP plans to open a dozen filling stations over the next 12 months. The firm, the operator of the biggest oil refinery in Australia, owns about 330 of the 1,300 BP-branded fuel stations in Australia.

The London-based group will also eye acquisitions to expand its filling station network across the continent, Andy Holmes, the president of BP's Australasia business told Bloomberg.

BP proposes to invest some A$2.3bn ($2.1bn, £1.3bn, €1.6bn) over the next five years on its downstream unit that also includes the Kwinana refinery in Perth. The group will also invest over A$1bn on a deep-water drilling campaign off the southern coast, Holmes said.

The company will commence its deep-water drill campaign in the Great Australian Bight in 2016, he added.

"The big opportunities we're after is at the customer end of the business," Holmes said at an Australian British Chamber of Commerce event in Melbourne on 22 August.

"Filling stations, or truck stops, or motorway stations, that's the area where we're turning up our focus."

"We have ambitions to further grow our upstream presence," Holmes said in a speech at the event. "We believe the Great Australian Bight can prove to be a new hydrocarbon basin. BP is also heavily invested in the development of the Browse gas resource."

BP in July inked a long-term deal with China's state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to supply liquefied natural gas to the world's second-largest economy.

That deal, worth about $20bn, spans more than 20 years. BP chief executive Bob Dudley, however, did not divulge details about the volume of the deal.