BP plc is a global energy company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the third largest energy company and the fourth largest company in the world. The name “BP” derives from the initials of one of the company’s former legal names, British Petroleum.A multinational oil company (“oil major”), BP is the United Kingdom’s largest corporation, with its head office in St James’s, City of Westminster, London. BP America’s headquarters is in the One Westlake ParkHouston Energy Corridor, Texas. The company is among the largest private sector energy corporations in the world and is one of the six “supermajors” (vertically integratedoil exploration, natural gas, and petroleum product marketing companies).The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. in the private sector
The 20 April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, in which 11 people died, led to an oil spill that contaminated a vast area of United States marine environment and continues to have a serious impact on wildlife, the local fishing industry, and regional tourism. The catastrophe has severely depressed BP’s stock price as well as its reputation, and led to speculation about consequences, such as a takeover of the company. Attempts at capping the leak and containing the slick are ongoing. Capture of new oil flows is approaching completion, while estimates of the well being permanently shut down are for sometime between August and October of 2010. Cleanup along the marshes and coasts is expected to take much longer.
Activity in 1909–1979
In May 1901, William Knox D’Arcy was granted a concession by the Shah of Iran to search for oil, which he discovered in May 1908. This was the first commercially significant find in the Middle East. On 14 April 1909, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) was incorporated as a subsidiary of Burmah Oil Company to exploit this. In 1935, it became the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC).
After World War II, AIOC and the Iranian government initially resisted nationalist pressure to revise AIOC’s concession terms still further in Iran’s favour. But in March 1951, the pro-western Prime Minister Ali Razmara was assassinated.The Majlis of Iran (parliament) elected a nationalist, Mohammed Mossadeq, as prime minister. In April, the Majlis nationalised the oil industry by unanimous vote. The National Iranian Oil Company was formed as a result, displacing the AIOC. The AIOC withdrew its management from Iran, and organised an effective boycott of Iranian oil. The British government – which owned the AIOC – contested the nationalisation at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, but its complaint was dismissed.
By spring of 1953, incoming U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorised the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to organise a coup against the Mossadeq government with support from the British government.On 19 August 1953, Mossadeq was forced from office by the CIA conspiracy, involving the Shah and the Iranian military, and known by its codename, Operation Ajax.
Classic shield logo, designed by Raymond Loewy, used from 1979 to 2000 and still in use in a small number of petrol stations.
Mossadeq was replaced by pro-Western general Fazlollah Zahedi, and the Shah, who returned to Iran after having left the country briefly to await the outcome of the coup. The Shah abolished the democratic Constitution and assumed autocratic powers.
After the coup, Mossadeq’s National Iranian Oil CompanyRoyal Dutch Shell and Compagnie Française des Pétroles, now Total S.A.. became an international consortium, and AIOC resumed operations in Iran as a member of it. The consortium agreed to share profits on a 50–50 basis with Iran, “but not to open its books to Iranian auditors or to allow Iranians onto its board of directors.” AIOC, as a part of the Anglo-American coup d’état deal, was not allowed to monopolise Iranian oil as before. It was limited to a 40% share in a new international consortium. For the rest, 40% went to the five major American companies and 20% went to
The AIOC became the British Petroleum Company in 1954. In 1959 the company expanded beyond the Middle East to Alaska and in 1965 it was the first company to strike oil in the North Sea.In 1978 the company acquired a controlling interest in Standard Oil of Ohio or Sohio, a breakoff of the former Standard Oil that had been broken up after anti-trust litigation.
British Petroleum continued to operate in Iran until the Islamic Revolution in 1979. The new regime of Ayatollah Khomeini confiscated all of the company’s assets in Iran without compensation, bringing to an end its 70-year presence in Iran.
1980s and 1990s
Sir Peter Walters was the company chairman from 1981 to 1990.This was the era of the Thatcher government’s privatisation strategy. The British government sold its entire holding in British Petroleum in several tranches between 1979 and 1987.The sale process was marked by an attempt by the Kuwait Investment Authority, the investment arm of the Kuwait government, to acquire control of the company .This was ultimately blocked by the strong opposition of the British government. In 1987, British Petroleum negotiated the acquisition of Britoil and the remaining publicly traded shares of Standard Oil of Ohio.
A British BP Shop Petrol Station.
Walters was replaced by Robert Horton in 1989. Horton carried out a major corporate down-sizing exercise removing various tiers of management at the Head Office.
Standard Oil of California and Gulf Oil merged in 1984, the largest merger in history at that time. Under the antitrust regulation, SoCal divested many of Gulf’s operating subsidiaries, and sold some Gulf stations and a refinery in the eastern United States.British Petroleum bought many of the stations in the Southeastern United States.
John Browne, who had been on the board as managing director since 1991, was appointed group chief executive in 1995.Browne was responsible for three major acquisitions; Amoco, ARCO and Burmah-Castrol (see below).
British Petroleum merged with Amoco (formerly Standard Oil of Indiana) in December 1998,becoming BP Amoco plc. In 2000, BP Amoco acquired Arco (Atlantic Richfield Co.)and Burmah Castrol plc.In 2001 the company formally renamed itself as BP plc and adopted the tagline “Beyond Petroleum,” which remains in use today. It states that BP was never meant to be an abbreviation of its tagline. Most Amoco stations in the United States were converted to BP’s brand and corporate identity. In many states, however, BP continued to sell Amoco branded petrol even in service stations with the BP identity as Amoco was rated the best petroleum brand by consumers for 16 consecutive years and also enjoyed one of the three highest brand loyalty reputations for petrol in the US, comparable only to Chevron and Shell. In May 2008, when the Amoco name was mostly phased out in favour of “BP Gasoline with Invigorate”, promoting BP’s new additive, the highest grade of BP petrol available in the United States was still called Amoco Ultimate.
Chief scientist, Steven Koonin (top right, with laptop), speaks about the energy scene in the boardroom in 2005.
In April 2004, BP decided to move most of its petrochemical businesses into a separate entity called Innovene within the BP Group. BP sought to sell the new company possibly via an initial public offering (IPO) in the US, and filed IPO plans for Innovene with the New York Stock Exchange on 12 September 2005. On 7 October 2005, however, BP announced that it had agreed to sell Innovene to INEOS, a privately held UK chemical company for $9 billion, thereby scrapping its plans for the IPO.
In 2005, BP announced that it would be leaving the ColoradoConoco. market. Many locations were re-branded as
Westlake Park in the Energy Corridor area of Houston has BP Americas’s headquarters
In 2006, when Chevron Corporation gave exclusive rights to the Texaco brand name in the U.S. Texaco sold most of the BP gas stations in the southeast. BP has recently looked to grow its oil exploration activities in frontier areas such as the former Soviet Union for its future reserves.] In Russia, BP owns 50% of TNK-BP with the other half owned by three Russian billionaires. TNK-BP accounts for a fifth of BP’s global reserves, a quarter of BP’s production, and nearly a tenth of its global profits.
In 2007, BP sold its corporate-owned convenience stores, typically known as “BP Connect”, to local franchisees and jobbers.’
On 12 January 2007, it was announced that Lord Browne would retire as chief executive at the end of July 2007. The new Chief Executive, Tony Hayward, had been head of exploration and production. It had been expected that Lord Browne would retire in February 2008 when he reached the age of 60, the standard retirement age at BP. Browne resigned abruptly from BP on 1 May 2007, following the lifting of a legal injunction preventing Associated Newspapers from publishing details about his private life. Hayward succeeded Browne with immediate effect.
On 1 April 2010, Chevron purchased some BP gas stations in Mississippi to the Texaco brand.
BP corporate and retail brands
BP petrol station in Zanesville, Ohio using previous BP prototype.
BP Amoco changed its name to BP in 2000, and introduced a new corporate slogan: “Beyond Petroleum.” It replaced its “Green Shield” logo with the Helios symbol, a green and yellow sunflower pattern similar to the emblem of the Green Party of Canada. These changes were intended to highlight the company’s interest in alternative and environmentally friendly fuels. When, in July 2006, BP admitted, only after journalists became aware of the spill, that it was facing criminal charges for allowing 270,000 gallons of crude oil to spread into the Alaskan tundra, critics pointed to the relative lack of press coverage about the spill as evidence that BP had successfully greenwashed its image while maintaining environmentally unsound practices.
In 2008, BP was awarded a satirical prize, the “Emerald Paintbrush” award, by Greenpeace UK. The “Emerald Paintbrush” award was given to BP in order to highlight its alleged greenwashing campaign. Critics point out that while BP advertises its relatively minimal investment in alternative energy sources, the majority of its investments continue to go into fossil fuels. BP was also one nominee for the 2009 Greenwash Awards.
Before January 1999 the company was registered as the British Petroleum Company PLC. In January 1999 following a merger the company took on the Amoco name.They retained the name BP Amoco, until April 2000.The transition to the BP PLC name was managed by BPs advertising agency: Ogilvy & Mather and PR Consultants: Ogilvy PR. The change of name culminated in BPs new logo and re-branding, in the first quarter of 2001.
The Helios logo (Helios is the name of the Greek sun god), represents energy in its many forms. The company owns the two letter internet domain bp.com, which the company registered 10 November 1989. BP is among the earliest brands to own such a short Domain name.BP’s tagline is “Beyond Petroleum”; according to the company this represents their focus on meeting the growing demand for fossil fuels, manufacturing and delivering more advanced products, and enabling the material transition to a lower carbon future.
ampm is a convenience store chain with branches located in several U.S. states including Arizona, California, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, recently in Illinois, Indiana, Georgia and Florida, and in several countries worldwide such as Japan. In the western US, the stores are usually attached to an ARCO gas station; elsewhere, the stores are attached to BP gas stations. BP Connect stations in the US are transitioning to the ampm brand.
In Germany and Luxembourg, BP operates its petrol retail chain under the name Aral after acquiring the majority of Veba Öl AG in 2001 and rebranding almost all of its BP filling stations to Aral.
ARCO is BP’s retail brand on the US West Coast in the seven Western states of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, and Utah. BP acquired ARCO (formerly the Atlantic Richfield Company) in 2000. ARCO is a popular “cash only” retailer, selling products refined from Alaska North Slope crude at the Cherry Point Refinery in Washington, a plant in Los Angeles, and at other contract locations on the West Coast.BP Travel Centre
BP Travel Centres are large scale destination sites located in Australia which on top of offering the same features of a BP Connect site with fuel and a Wild Bean Cafe, also feature major food-retail tenants such as McDonalds, KFC, Nando’s and recently Krispy Kreme, with a large seating capacity food court. There are also facilities for long-haul truck drivers including lounge, showers and washing machines all in the same building. There are 4 travel centres located in South East Queensland, Australia. Two on the Pacific Highway (Coomera and Stapylton) and two on the Bruce Highway (Caboolture). A fifth travel centre was opened in 2007 at Chinderah in northern New South Wales.
BP Connect is BP’s flagship retail brand name with BP Connect Service stations being operated around the UK, Europe, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and other parts of the world. BP Connect sites feature the Wild Bean Cafe which offers cafe style coffee made by the staff and a selection of hot food as well as freshly baked muffins and sandwiches. The food offered in Wild Bean Cafe varies from each site. BP Connect sites usually offer table and chair seating and often an Internet kiosk. In the US, the BP Connect concept is gradually being transitioned to the ampm brand and concept. Some BP Connect sites around the UK ran in partnership with Marks & Spencer with the on-site shop being an M&S Simply Food instead of a BP Shop.
BP Express was the flagship BP brand prior to the introduction of BP Connect in 2000. There are still some BP Express sites operating around the world but most have been either upgraded to Connect or changed to an alternative brand. BP Express offers a bakery service but doesn’t have the selection of food offered in the Wild Bean Cafe and usually coffee is only available through a self service machine.
In the Netherlands BP is opening unmanned stations with no shops or employees. These stations are called BP Express. Some of these stations used to be ‘ordinary’ BP stations, some are new to the BP network. Apart from these stations BP Express shopping does also exist in the Netherlands.
A BP petrol prices sign outside a BP Shop garage in the United Kingdom (prices in UK pence per litre)
BP Shop is commonly used on smaller, mainly independently owned sites. Products vary in each BP Shop but consist usually of a selection of convenience store-style food and automotive products.
BP 2go is a franchise brand used for independently operated sites in New Zealand and is currently being rolled out throughout Australia (Although not all BP 2go stores are franchises in Australia). BP 2go sites mainly operate in towns and outer suburbs in New Zealand. BP 2go offers similar bakery food to BP Connect but in a pre-packaged form. Some BP Express sites around New Zealand and Australia that were considered too small to be upgraded to BP Connect were given the option to change to BP 2go others were downgraded to BP Shop. Staff at some BP 2go sites wear a different style of uniform to the rest of the BP branded sites, however in company owned and operated 2go sites in Australia the same uniform is worn across all sites.
Castrol is a brand of motor oil and other lubricants which is entirely a BP brand but tends to retain its separate identity.
Air BP and BP Shipping
Air BP is the aviation fuel arm, BP Marine the marine fuels and lubricants arm, and BP Shipping is the shipping arm within the BP group.
BP Shipping provides the logistics to move BP’s oil and gas cargoes to market, as well as marine structural assurance on everything that floats in the BP group. It manages a large fleet of vessels most of which are held on long-term operating leases. BP Shipping’s chartering teams based in London, Singapore, and Chicago also charter third party vessels on both time charter and voyage charter basis.
The BP-managed fleet consists of Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), one North Sea shuttle tanker, medium size crude and product carriers, liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers, and coasters. All of these ships are double-hulled.