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Type Public Limited Company
Traded as LSE:BP
Founded 1909 (as Anglo-Persian Oil), 1954 (as British Petroleum)
Headquarters London, UK
Key people Carl-Henric Svanberg (Chairman), Bob Dudley (CEO)
Revenue US$386.46 billion (2011)[1]
Profit US$26.10 billion (2011)[2]
Total assets US$293.07 billion (end 2011)[3]
Total equity US$112.48 billion (end 2011)[4])
Employees 83,400 (end 2011)[5]
Website www.bp.com

Global Snapshot

BP is a British global energy company headquartered in London, ranked in 2010 by Platts as the second largest energy company in the world based on financial performance, trailing ExxonMobil. It improved its position from fourth in the rankings in 2008.[6]

BP began business as Anglo-Persian Oil in 1909,[7] which exported its first cargo of oil in March 1912 from Abadan in Iran. From 1914 until the 1980s, the British government were the company's principal stockholder and since then BP have acquired the Standard Oil Company in 1987, merged with US company Amocco in 1998 and acquired Atlantic Richfield and Burmah Castroland in 2000.[8]

At the end of 2011 BP had total proven global reserves of 17.75 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) and produced 2.35 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) through the year.[9]

However, BP has since 2010 been dealing with the aftermath of the Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the US's largest ever oil disaster. The Deepwater Horizon oil well explosion killed 11 workers and is estimated to have affected around 1,000 miles of shoreline, 200 miles of which were thought to be 'heavily oiled'. However, the exact extent of the spill has been disputed by different parties.[10] The company made the decision to sell none-core assets in order to pay for the clean-up operation and to compensate victims. In October 2011, BP finally received authorization to resume drilling at the site[11] and in November 2012 the company settled all claims with the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission for US$4.5 billion.[12]

Company Report Highlights

BP's Annual Report released for 2010 acknowledges the difficult nature of the year passed, given the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig, admitting that this grew into a corporate crisis which "threatened the very existence of the company". The document reports a loss in 2010 of US$3,324 million, compared to 2009 annual profits of US$16.76 billion.[13]

However, in October 2011 BP announced a near tripling in third-quarter profits on the previous year, reaching £3.2 billion (US$5.4 billion). The CEO claimed that the company had reached a 'turning point' for its oil and gas operations and production.[14]

Official Accreditations and Global Perceptions

EITI Supporter Status

As of December 2011, BP was a supporter company of EITI.

UN Global Compact

As of December 2011, BP was a member of the UN Global Compact, having joined in 2000.

CSR Review

According to BP's official website[15], the following comments were made about the previous year's corporate social responsibility activities:

  • BP took responsibility immediately for the clean up after the Macondo spill. The clean up effort at its peak involved 48,000 people, 6,500 vessels and 125 aircraft. The company set up the US$20 billion Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust for claims and certain other costs, and provided hundreds of millions of dollars for economic, health and environmental programmes. They suspended dividend payments for three quarters and initiated US$30 billion of asset sales to pay for the effort.
  • A new safety and operational risk function was set up with specialist personnel and the company is co-operating with a series of investigations.
  • BP are building their business in natural gas, providing a lower-carbon alternative to coal. They are also including a carbon price in new project development plans to encourage efficiency and continue to invest in low-carbon renewable energies.
  • Since 2005, BP has invested more than US$5 billion in its alternative energy businesses and expected to invest a further $1 billion in 2011.

External Coverage

  • In March 2005 an explosion at BP's Texas City Refinery killed 15 oil worders and injured at least 170 more, making it the worst workplace accident in the US since 1989. Investigations by CBS News found that BP failed to provide for the health and safety of its workers and ignored warnings of danger in the run-up to the blast.[16]
  • In October 2007, four former BP energy traders from Houston were indicted on federal charges, alleging they had manipulated propane prices. Aside from the individual indictments, BP reached a US$303 million settlement with the government related to the allegations.[17]
  • In April 2010 an explosion and fire at BP's Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in an estimated 206 million gallons of oil spilled over several months, polluting beaches and coastal marshes and shutting vast areas of the Gulf to fishing. The spill was dubbed the worst in US offshore history and eleven rigmen died as a result of the fire. BP created a US$20 billion compensation fund shortly after the spill.[18] and in March 2011 reached an US$8.7 billion package business and individuals suing the company over the spill.[19]
  • According to reports by the Guardian, BP spent nearly US$16 million on lobbying the federal government, breaking a previous spending record of US$10.4 million in 2008 and ranking it among the 20 highest spenders that year. In 2008 it also spent more than US$530,000 on federal elections.[20]
  • In 1997 BP became the first major energy company to publicly acknowledge the need to stake steps against climate change.[21] However environmental activists have dubbed BP's drive towards being a more eco-friendly company as "greenwashing" and dismiss it as little more than a public relations stunt, despite its 2008 multimillion dollar marketing campaign.[22]

Global Operations by Country


Main article: BP Operations in Azerbaijan


Main article: BP Operations in Colombia


Main article: BP Operations in Egypt


Main article: BP Operations in Iraq


Main article: BP Operations in Libya


  1. Annual Reporting 2011”, BP, 2012.
  2. Annual Reporting 2011”, BP, 2012.
  3. Annual Reporting 2011”, BP, 2012.
  4. Annual Reporting 2011”, BP, 2012.
  5. BP at a glance”, BP, retrieved 17 December 2012.
  6. "Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings" Platts Energy, retrieved 25 October 2011.
  7. "Business: The Company File From Anglo-Persian Oil to BP Amoco" BBC News, 11 August 1998.
  8. "BP PLC" History.com, retrieved 25 October 2011.
  9. BP at a glance”, BP, retrieved 17 December 2012.
  10. "Deepwater Horizon and the Gulf oil spill - the key questions answered" The Guardian, 20 April 2011.
  11. "Oil giant BP reaches 'turning point'" BBC News, 25 October 2011.
  12. "Record $4B Settlement For BP On Criminal Charges Regarding Macondo Accident" Forbes, 15 November 2012.
  13. "Annual Reporting" BP, retrieved 25 October 2011.
  14. "Oil giant BP reaches 'turning point'" BBC News, 25 October 2011.
  15. "Group chief executive's letter" BP, retrieved 29 October 2011.
  16. "The Explosion At Texas City" CBS News, 11 February 2009.
  17. "Four BP traders charged with price manipulation" Houston Chronicle, 25 October 2007.
  18. "BP's Influence Peddling In Congress Bears Fruit Two Years After Gulf Spill" Huffington Post, 12 March 2012.
  19. "BP's $7.8 billion deal may speed payments for spill" Reuters, 4 March 2012.
  20. "BP spends millions lobbying as it drills ever deeper and the environment paysl" Guardian, 2 May 2010.
  21. "BP tackles climate change threat with £200m boost for energy efficiency" Telegraph, 25 October 2005.
  22. "Recapping on BP's long history of greenwashing" Greenpeace, 21 May 2010.