Top 10 Oil & Gas Companies: BP

The largest British oil company and the first to strike oil in the north seas

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Sumit Dutta

Although founded in 1954 British Petroleum's roots go back much further.

The Anglo-Persian Oil Company was formed in 1909, itself an offshoot of the Burmah Oil Company. It later rebranded to the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and then finally to BP. 11 years later the company became the first to strike oil in the north seas.

Other notable mergers and acquisitions following its privatisation in 1979 / 1987 include Amoco in 1998 and ARCO and Burmah Castrol in 2000.

Thanks to its 20,000 plus service stations, BP is one of the most recognisable oil and gas companies.

The company rebranded in 2001, dropping its green shield logo in favour of the "Helios" symbol – designed to represent event in all its forms. The company also adopted the slogan "Beyond Petroleum" – highlighting their focus on all types of energy and stressing their commitment to a lower carbon future.

BP hit rock bottom when the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster became a major global talking point and led to the company pleading guilty on 11 counts of manslaughter, two misdemeanours, and one count of lying to Congress resulting in $4.5 billion in fines- the largest criminal resolution in US history. Disgraced CEO Tony Hayward was also forced to quit his post.

The ramifications of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are still being felt today as BP stands trial in the biggest court case of the century. BP may face damages in excess of $17 billion in the trial.

It was a turning point for the company made all the more unfortunate considering BP’s previous efforts to establish its green friendly credentials with renewable energy.

Despite this, BP still managed to be the fifth-largest company in the world by revenue.

Current CEO Bob Dudley is delivering on his new strategy of selling assets (including its stake in the TNK–BP venture), resolving lawsuits and enhancing efficiency. This will lead to a leaner operation.

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Barrels Per Day 4.1 million
Founded 1909
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
State Owned? No
CEO Bob Dudley
Revenue US $244.285 billion (2017)
Employees 85,700 (2017)


In 1997 BP became the first multinational outside the reinsurance industry to publicly support the scientific consensus on climate change


MORE: GLOBAL REPORT: BP Energy Outlook 2030





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Sumit Dutta heads up Marketing at Oil & Gas IQ. Contact him at Twitter or Google Plus