Analysis of British Petroleum
British Petroleum Company PLC
Incorporated: 19909 as Anglo-Persian Oil Company
Sales: £41.71 billion (US$80.51 billion)
Stock Exchanges: London, New York, Toronto, Tokyo, Paris, Zurich,
British Petroleum (BP) is one of the worlds leading oil companies, and
one of the United Kingdoms largest corporations. The company, which
was the pioneer of the Middle Eastern oil industry, having discovered
oil in Iran before World War I, is now engaged in all aspects of oil
exploration, production, refining, transportation, and marketing. It
has significant interest in chemicals and plastics, including a range
of specialty products- mostly detergents, advanced composite
materials, and advanced ceramic engineered materials.
The new BP
The new BP has a long and exciting history that goes back more than a
century. The company is made up of four companies, each with its own
proud history: BP, Amoco, ARCO and Castrol. These histories are so
often intertwined, that coming together as one company makes a great
deal of sense. It's the power of one.
BP's origins date back to May 1901, when a wealthy Englishman, William
Knox D'Arcy, obtained a concession from the Shah of Persia to explore
for and develop the oil resources of that country. As exploration
continued, costs mounted, stretching D'Arcy's resources to the point
where he sought outside financial assistance. This came in 1905 from
the Burmah Oil Company, which provided new funds for D'Arcy's venture.
In May 1908, he struck oil at Masjid-i-Suleiman in southwest Persia.
It was the first commercial oil discovery in the Middle East.
In 1909, Anglo-Persian Oil was formed to develop the oil field. Later
renamed as British Petroleum, the company's name was shortened to BP
to reflect a continuing global expansion. Over the years, BP made many
important discoveries, including fields in the North Sea near Scotland
and at Prudhoe Bayin Alaska.
Amoco began its life as a part of John D. Rockefeller's powerful
Standard Oil Trust. Incorporated in 1889 as the Standard Oil Company
(Indiana), the company's first challenge was to build a refinery in
Whiting, Indiana, specially designed to handle high-sulphur crude oil
from a field near Lima, Ohio.
In 1912, a year after dissolution of the Rockefeller Trust, company
scientist William Burton and his colleague, Robert Humphreys, received
a patent for the thermal cracking process that doubled the yield of
gasoline from a barrel of crude oil, while also boosting its octane
rating. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Standard Oil of Indiana
remained the company's name until April of 1985 when it became Amoco,
reflecting a growing international...