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UpstreamOnline: Shell and BP build for future

TWO oil and gas supermajors have cut the ribbon on ambitious campus expansions in Houston to house their growing exploration & production businesses, writes Blake Wright.

BP has launched a major three-phase growth at its Westlake complex in west Houston designed to accommodate an employee and contractor population that could grow by 2000 to about 8000 by 2010.

A seven-storey building and a new parking garage are part of phase one of the expansion work to be carried out by BP.

A ground breaking for the initial phase is slated for early 2007 with targeted completion in the fourth quarter of 2008.

The firm building commitments are expected to carry a price tag of around $250 million. A fully realised third phase could push the cost over $650 million.

“BP is committed to developing and sustaining a presence in Houston for the long-term,” said Robert Malone, chairman and president of BP Americas.

Across US Interstate 10, rival Shell is embarking on an expansion of its Wood-creek facility that will include the addition of a six-storey, 170,000 square-foot office building and an adjacent 30,000 square-foot, amenities centre with a gym.

The new Shell building will have room for around 600 employees.

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