BP and Accenture, formerly Andersen Consulting, jointly announced a $175 million expansion of BP’s U.S. refining and marketing energy outsourcing agreement. The companies said Accenture will design, build and run business systems that support the majority of BP’s U.S. downstream back-office business processes.

The nine-year agreement stipulates that Accenture’s Senergy Business Center will provide “long-term system support” commencing in July 2001. Based in Houston, the Senergy Business Center is the operation hub for information technology and business process outsourcing services for several leading energy companies, Accenture said.

This most recent deal builds on the two companies’ January 2000 and December 2000 announcements of $300 million outsourcing agreements for financial and administrative services, which Accenture noted was the largest contract of its type ever signed in the downstream energy sector.

“Accenture’s record of providing powerful outsourcing solutions made the decision to expand our relationship easy,” said Alan Eilles downstream CFO of BP. “I have no doubt this will be an efficient and seamless process and will allow BP to focus on our core businesses. This agreement reinforces our commitment to put people, process and technology together with a service provider who will work with us to maximize value for our customers and shareholders.”

BP’s recent merger and acquisition endeavors with Amoco, Burmah, Castrol and Arco have added a number of business systems to its portfolio. The agreement charges Accenture with providing end-to-end service for the delivery and operation of a companywide application, which will improve back-office productivity and quality, the companies said.

“The expansion of our outsourcing relationship with BP is a testament to the results we have achieved by working together,” said Mike Scimo, a partner with Accenture’s energy practice. “The synergies we can exploit through combined business processes and technology improvements will accelerate our shared transformation agenda. Accenture is committed to outsourcing and other innovative solutions for the downstream energy industry. We see opportunities that transcend modest improvements in efficiency or cost. By combining Accenture’s outsourcing, venture capital management and strategic alliances, we will offer solutions to help downstream companies innovate, grow, and achieve considerable competitive advantage.”

BP and Accenture have had working agreements together for more than a decade.

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