Sunbury Research Centre

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Sunbury Research Centre
BP Sunbury, BP International Ltd, International Centre for Business & Technology, ICBT Sunbury
Sunbury, BP Sunbury Business Park - - 405061.jpg
April 2007
Sunbury Research Centre is located in Surrey
Sunbury Research Centre
Location within Surrey
Former namesSunbury Research Station, BP Research Centre, Sunbury Research Laboratories
Alternative namesSunbury Business park
General information
TypeEnergy Research Centre
AddressChertsey Road, Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey (former Middlesex), TW16 7LN[1]
Coordinates51°26′N 0°26′W / 51.43°N 0.43°W / 51.43; -0.43
Elevation45 m (148 ft)
Current tenants3,500 staff in 55 business teams
Other dimensions33 acres

The Sunbury Research Centre -- also known as ICBT Sunbury -- is a main research institute of BP in north-east Surrey.


It began in 1917 as the Sunbury Research Station. Research began with the employment of two chemists to look into the viscosity of fuel oil for the Navy in the First World War, and the production of toluene. In the 1920s research took place into cracking, at the plant at Uphall in Scotland (West Lothian). The first new building opened in July 1931. 76 staff were there in 1929, 99 in 1934 and 197 in 1939.

By the 1950s, BP Research was in a 39-acre site in Sunbury.[2] Geophysical research had also taken place at Kirklington Hall Research Station in Nottinghamshire, until 1957. Around 1958, the site was expanded with a new Physics laboratory and five other buildings. A Linear electron accelerator was installed. By early 1958, Kirklington Hall had been sold.

Products that the British Petroleum Company made in the 1950s were BP Motor Spirit and BP Energol (visco-static motor oil). But Britain would not produce much oil of its own until the mid-1970s when North Sea oil arrived at the Forties Oil Field.


Three new buildings were built from 1998 as part of Phase 1. Since 2001, four new buildings were built as part of Phase 2.


It is situated off the A244 (via the A308) in the north of Sunbury-on-Thames, and Surrey, on the Surrey boundary with London. To the east nearby is Sunbury Common.

The retail division of BP UK is at Witan Gate House. BP employs around 15,000 people in the UK.

It has an enhanced oil recovery laboratory.[3]

See also[edit]


  • The History of the British Petroleum Company, October 1982, ISBN 0521246474

External links[edit]