The British supermajor’s upstream chief executive Lamar McKay said Lawler was chosen for his impressive track record encompassing both integrated oil and gas companies and independents.
Lawler said he planned to “leverage BP’s talent and resources while running the business as if it were an independent”.
The 46-year-old was promoted to chief operating officer at SandRidge Energy last Spring following two years as executive vice president of operations at the Oklahoma City-based explorer.
Previously he led PostRock Exploration and earlier spent a decade with Shell in a variety of roles.
He is to leave SandRidge Energy on 3 September and start at BP on 15 September.
In recent months BP moved to formally establish the US Lower 48 Onshore as a separate business in a change that will take effect early next year.
BP will continue to own the operation but it will report its own financial results.
The British supermajor’s business in the continental US extends from the onshore Gulf Coast north through the Rocky Mountains, including an unconventional resource base of around 7.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent across 5.5 million acres and an interest in around 20,000 wells.
For its part, SandRidge Energy said it has initiated a search for Lawler’s replacement, while it has also promoted senior vice president Craig Johnson to executive vice president of operations.