BP plc

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BP are planning to spend $71 billion digging up new oil and gas, when they already have more fossil fuels on their books than our planet can afford for them to burn. Big Oil as a whole is set to spend $5 trillion on fossil fuels, because $$$s.[1]

BP is one of the world's leading oil groups. Net sales:

  • 82.4%: Refining and distribution: 7.6m barrels of crude oil and refined products marketed per day in 2017. At the end of 2017, the group had 11 refineries (incl. 3 in the USA) and a network of 18,000 service stations (incl. 7,100 in the USA);
  • 17%: Exploration and production: oil (1,356,000 barrels produced per day) and natural gas (182.2m m3 produced per day);
  • 0.6%: Other

Climate Policy

Climate-Accountability-Institute.svg Carbon Majors Oct.2019 update: BP holds the No.6 spot in the Top 20.[2]
CDP-Worldwide-horiz.svg Carbon Majors Report: No.14 in the Top 50 worst GHG emitters.[3]

BP touts its Green Credentials, but in fact its investments in solar power and electric cars are only a drop in the ocean of its hydrocarbon-dominated $15bn-$16bn spending (2018). BP plans to deliver 25% more oil and gas by 2021.ref, p.9
In Feb.2019, CEO Bob Dudley said that hydrocarbons would remain the core of BP’s business. Profits for 2017 rose by 139%.ref

Tax Policy: A tax haven for shareholders, but not only: a trade paradise for a few, Facts Central. Lord Browne

Arts Sponsorship

Who really pays for BP’s arts sponsorship? Taxpayers. Each year, the govt hands over £200m of public money to BP in the form of tax breaks and subsidies. BP pockets 99%, and uses the remaining £2m in a not-so-subtle attempt to buy social license. The company uses its "generous" gesture to position itself as a good corporate citizen in spite of its central role in worsening climate change. Greg Muttitt, Oil Change International, May.12.2017.


ToDo: Brands

Associated Organisations

ToDo: Climate Change disinformation lobby groups



Total float: 93.2%
Source: MarketScreener.svg, Mar.2020
† SAFE Investment Company Ltd (State Administration of Foreign Exchange) is the Hong Kong branch of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange of the People's Republic of China (Chinese sovereign wealth fund).


  • May.21.2018: BP Accused of 'Corporate Evasion' over Response to Climate Change Questions at AGM. BP Accused of 'Corporate Evasion' over Response to Climate Change Questions at AGM. Climate change was the single biggest issue raised during oil giant BP’s annual general meeting, as both activists shareholders and institutional investors pushed the company to take more ambitious action to shift its business model away from fossil fuels. Campaigners criticised BP senior executives for at times “dismissive” answers, which they say showed little willingness from the company to take into account some issues around emissions, social justice and human rights. BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg and chief executive Bob Dudley answered most of the questions raised by shareholders, including from the Church of England Pensions Fund, Aviva investors and London-based Hermes Investment Management. But campaigners were not impressed with their answers. ShareAction, Patagonia where BP-controlled Pan-American Energy plans to frack dozens of wells in the highlands of Vaca Muerta. Chloe Farand, DeSmog UK.
  • Jun.07.2017: BP and Rosneft agree strategic cooperation in gas business. Rosneft and BP have signed today an agreement on strategic cooperation in gas and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in respect to the sale and purchase of natural gas in Europe. The two companies agreed to develop integrated cooperation in gas and aim to jointly implement gas projects in Russia and abroad focused on gas exploration and production, LNG production, supply and marketing. Rosneft and BP also reconfirmed their mutual interest in cooperation in European gas marketing. According to the MoU, Rosneft and BP's wholly-owned subsidiary #BP Gas Marketing Limited will enter into a long-term sales and purchase agreement for the supply of natural gas produced by Rosneft in order to ensure delivery of additional Russian gas supplies to European markets starting from 2019. The parties agree that Russian state support for an effective gas supplies mechanism is key to the successful implementation of the MoU. Russian Trade Delegation.
  • Sept.28.2016: Executives up for big bonuses in Great Australian Bight oil rush. Potential AU$1.13m a year for Bob Dudley, chief executive of BP. BP’s annual report shows that all executive directors are entitled to bonuses if the company hits targets for “relative reserves replacement” – in other words if it grows its reserves faster than it depletes them. The report notes that BP did this faster than any other major oil company in the world in 2015-16. Tying executive bonuses to finding new reserves could lead them to make decisions that could lead to major oil spills. Dan Gocher, author of the Market Forces report, questioned the rationale of paying out bonuses to executives who oversee the expansion of oil reserves when the world is trying to phase out fossil fuels. 12 of Australia’s largest superannuation funds continue to vote overwhelmingly in favour of reserve-linked bonuses despite having made pledges that recognise the importance of climate action. In order to prevent the world warming by more than 2C, the limit agreed by world leaders, more than a third of proven reserves must stay in the ground. ... Under the 50/50 Climate Project, 50 institutional investors worth US$13tn are putting pressure on the 50 biggest energy companies to get serious on climate risk. Karl Mathiesen, Climate Home News. See also Exxon and Chevron prone to ‘groupthink’ on climate, Linkback: ExxonMobil, Chevron.


By the 1960s, BP had developed a reputation for taking on the riskiest ventures. It earned the company massive profits; it also earned them the worst safety record in the industry. In response to negative press in 2001 on its poor safety standards, BP adopted a green sunburst logo and rebranded itself as BP ("Beyond Petroleum") plc.
2018 invesment: renewables = $0.5bn; hydrocarbons = $15bn-$16bn. ref, p.9

ToDo: Pics

  • BP Petrochemicals, the plastics and chemicals operations, was sold to Ineos to cut costs. The aromatics division produces chemicals for the polyester used in clothing, film and packaging; and the acetyls business makes products used in food flavourings, paints and glues. The acquisition means Ineos ramping up plastics production, and to the devil with the environmental problems of plastic waste.[4]
  • Jobs: Plans to cut 10,000 jobs were announced, representing ~15% of the group’s 70,000 staff, by the end of the year. The majority will be in office-based jobs. The announcement was made a few weeks after a huge shareholder dividend payout.[5]
  • Climate Change Lobby Groups: BP cut ties with 3 USA lobby groups over climate change policy differences: American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, Western States Petroleum Association and the Western Energy Alliance. Greenpeace was not impressed: “Judge them by the company they keep and where their mone is going: more oil, more gas.” BP have stuck with the American Petroleum Institute, which lobbys to weaken USA environmental laws. “This report appears to be tokenistic, inadequate and hypocritical – like all of BP’s climate plans that we’ve seen so far.”[6]

Oil Spills, Pollution and Accidents

Jul.2015Deepwater Horizon oil spill: BP and 5 states announced an $18.5bn settlement to be used for Clean Water Act penalties and various claims. But the "fine" was no such thing - BP was able to write off the majority as a tax deduction.ref Oil Change International have an excellent series of articles on BP. Film: The Big Fix
2013474 Galveston County residents living near the BP Texas City Refinery filed a $1bn lawsuit, accusing BP of "intentionally misleading the public about the seriousness" of a 2-week release of toxic fumes in Nov.2011. The lawsuit also claims Galveston county has the worst air quality in the USA due to BP's violations of air pollution laws.
BP: beginnings to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Cover up
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the largest accidental release of oil into marine waters in history, and resulted in the death of 11 workers, severe environmental, health and economic consequences, plus serious legal and public relations repercussions for BP. The cleanup used 1.8m gallons of Corexit oil dispersant (a carcinogenic toxic pollutant). BP pleaded guilty to 11 counts of felony manslaughter, 2 misdemeanors, 1 felony count of lying to Congress, and agreed to pay $4.5+bn in fines and penalties. See Deepwater HorizonWikipedia-W.svg
2010The Center for Public Integrity found[7] that in total, BP was responsible for 97% of all violations (829/851) found between Jun.2007–Feb.2010. Most of the citations were classified as "egregious willful" by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
2009Another group of 95 Colombian farmers filed a suit against BP, saying the company's Ocensa pipeline caused landslides and damage to soil and groundwater, affecting crops, livestock, and contaminating water supplies, making fish ponds unsustainable.
2008BP Amoco, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Shell, Sunoco, El Paso Corp. and Tesoro Corp. agreed to pay $422m to settle a class-action lawsuit resulting from water contamination from the gasoline additive MTBE. Leaked from storage tanks, MTBE has been found in several water systems across the US. The lawsuit maintains that the industry knew about the environmental dangers but used it instead of other alternatives because it was cheaper. The companies will be required to pay 70% of cleanup costs for any wells newly affected at any time over the next 30 years.[8]
2006The Prudhoe Bay oil spill was the largest oil spill on Alaska's North Slope, which resulted in a $25m penalty, the largest per-barrel penalty at that time for an oil spill. A corroded pipeline in Prudhoe Bay dumped 200,000 gallons of oil over the course of 5 days. Months later, the pipeline leaked another 1,000 gallons.[9] See Prudhoe BayWikipedia-W.svg
2006A group of Colombian farmers sued BP for environmental damage caused by the Ocensa pipeline.
Jun.2005"Thunder Horse PDQ", BP's giant new production platform in the Gulf of Mexico, nearly sank during a hurricane. In their rush to finish the $1bn platform, workers had installed a valve backwards, allowing the ballast tanks to flood. Inspections revealed other shoddy work. Repairs costing hundreds of millions kept Thunder Horse out of commission for three years.
Apr.2006The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined BP $2.4+m for unsafe operations at the company's Oregon, Ohio refinery.
Mar.2005An explosion at BP's Texas City Refinery caused the death of 15 workers and 170+ injured. To save money, major upgrades to the 1934 refinery had been postponed. BP received a record-setting OSHA fine.
Jan.2005The California AQMD agency filed a 2nd suit against BP for violations between Aug.2002–Oct.2004. The suit alleged that BP illegally released air pollutants by failing to adequately inspect, maintain, repair and properly operate thousands of pieces of equipment across the refinery as required by AQMD regulations. In some cases the violations were due to negligence, while in others the violations were knowingly and willfully committed by refinery officials.
2003California's South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) filed a complaint against BP/ARCO, seeking penalties for thousands of air pollution violations over an 8-year period.
2001In response to negative press on its poor safety standards, BP adopted a green sunburst logo and rebranded itself as BP ("Beyond Petroleum") plc.
Metallurgical Chemicals & Releasant Chemicals: the specialty chemicals businesses acquired in Mar.2000 as part of the Burmah Castrol acquisition were sold to private equity firm Cinven Group Ltd.[10]
Mar.2000 Burmah Castrol, a British oil and lubricants maker, was acquired.[11] BP announced its intention to sell the three specialty chemicals business divisions.
Sept.1999A subsidiary, BP Exploration Alaska (BPXA), pleaded guilty to criminal charges stemming from its illegally dumping of hazardous wastes on the Alaska North Slope. The charges stemmed from 1993–1995 dumping of hazardous wastes on Endicott Island, Alaska by BP's contractor Doyon Drilling.[12]
1998 BP Amoco plc: BP and Amoco merged, combining their worldwide operations into a single organization. The new company became the largest producer of both oil and natural gas in the USA.
Animal Nutrition: an international group of companies operating in the feed and nutrition markets for livestock-related agriculture and aquaculture was sold to a consortium of Cinven Ltd, Baring Capital Investors and senior BP Nutrition management. The group was named Nutreco NV; it had 60+ production and processing operations in 15 countries, including breeding, production and processing of poultry and pigs, and salmon farming.[13] NutrecoWikipedia-W.svg
1967The giant oil tanker Torrey CanyonWikipedia-W.svg foundered off the English coast. Over 32m gallons of crude oil was spilled into the Atlantic and onto the beaches of Cornwall and Brittany, causing Britain's worst-ever oil spill. The ship was owned by the Bahamas-based Barracuda Tanker Corporation and was flying the flag of Liberia, a well-known flag of convenience, but was chartered by BP.

Renewables + Greenwashing

The rebranding to "Beyond Petroleum" in 2001 was most certainly greenwashing. BP has since cut its alternative energy investments significantly. It’s really moving more aggressively into oil, where they can make the most money. The real reason they want us to think they are green is so that we will think of them in warm and fuzzy ways, and not pressure elected officials to take a heavy-handed regulatory approach.[14]

Dec.2018Lightsource BP won a 15-year tender to provide renewable electricity to Anheuser-Busch InBev, maker of Budweiser.[15]
2017 Lightsource BP: BP announced a planned investment to acquire a 43% stake in solar energy developer Lightsource Renewable Energy, which will be renamed to Lightsource BP. The company manages and maintains solar farms.[16] website, Lightsource Renewable EnergyWikipedia-W.svg
Dec.2011BP Solar was closed when BP announced its departure from the solar energy business.
2010BP closed down the factory at Frederick, Maryland.
2009BP decided to shift its priorities from being "green" to being "responsible". A BP spokesman said: "The new brand value, 'Responsible', encompasses BP's original aspirations towards the environment, in addition to other key areas such as safety and social welfare".

BP spent $16.5m on lobbying. Under the Bush administration (2001-2009), the Oil Industry had been able to legislate; when Obama took over, it was forced to revert to lobbying.

BP spent 4% of its total capital and exploratory budget on all forms of green alternative energy (using very generous estimates).
2008BP's budget included 93% ($20bn) in fossil fuel investment, and $1.5bn in all alternative forms of energy.
2004BP Solar's R&D division was sold to the UK's National Renewable Energy Centre (NaRec).
2000BP launched a $200m advertising campaign to highlight a more environmental side. Their popular idiom "Beyond Petroleum" was also developed at this time.
1999BP increased its stake in the American Solarex plant to 100%.
1981BP entered into the solar technology sector by acquiring 50% of Lucas Energy Systems (later Lucas BP Solar Systems, and later BP Solar). The company was a manufacturer and installer of photovoltaic solar cells. It became wholly owned by BP in the mid-1980s.


Dec.2017In Russia, BP owns a 19.75% stake in Rosneft.
Oct.2012BP sold its stake in TNK-BP to Rosneft for $12.3bn in cash and 18.5% of Rosneft's stock. The deal was completed in Mar.2013.
Sept.2003BP and a group of Russian billionaires, known as AAR (Alfa-Access-Renova), announced the creation of a strategic partnership called TNK-BP, to jointly hold their oil assets in Russia and Ukraine.
1997BP acquired a 10% stake in Russian oil company Sidanco, which later became a part of TNK-BP.
1990BP entered the Russian market, and opened its first service station in Moscow in 1996.


1992BP sold off its 57% stake in BP Canada (upstream operations), which was renamed as Talisman Energy.
1982The downstream assets of BP Canada were sold to Petro Canada.
1971BP Canada acquired a 97.8% stake of Supertest Petroleum.
1969Triad Oil Company was renamed BP Canada.
1969Triad Oil Company discovered the biggest oilfield in the USA at Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, which transformed the company.
1959Triad Oil Company expanded further to Alaska.
1953BP entered the Canadian market through the purchase of a minority stake in Calgary-based Triad Oil Company.


1971The company's oil assets were nationalised in Libya.
1956BP's subsidiary D'Arcy Exploration Co. (Africa) Ltd. was granted 4 oil concessions in Libya.

United Kingdom

Apr.2017BP reached an agreement to sell its Forties pipeline system in the North Sea to Ineos for $250m.
2015BP decided to exit from other lignocellulosic ethanol businesses. It sold its stake in Vivergo to Associated British Foods. BP and DuPont also mothballed their joint biobutanol pilot plant in Saltend.
2007BP formed a joint venture with AB Sugar and DuPont, "Vivergo Fuels" which opened a bioethanol plant in Saltend near Hull, UK in Dec.2012.
2004BP's olefins and derivatives and refining businesses were moved into Innovene, a separate entity, which was sold to Ineos in 2005.
2000As part of the Arco/Burmah merger's brand awareness, BP helped the Tate Modern gallery of British Art launch RePresenting Britain 1500–2000.
1988Britoil plc was acquired by British Petroleum.ref
Oct.1987After the worldwide stock market crash, Margaret Thatcher initiated the sale of an additional £7.5bn of BP shares, representing the govt's remaining 31% stake in the company.
1987Final stages of UK privatisation
1987BP negotiated the acquisition of Britoil (a North Sea oil company).
1982Britoil plc: British National Oil Corporation was privatised, ref with shares being issued in two tranches, in 1982 and 1985.ref
1979The British govt sold 80m shares of BP at $7.58 as part of Thatcher-era privatisation. This sale represented slightly more than 5% of BP's total shares and reduced the govt's ownership of the company to 46%.
1979First stages of UK privatisation
1976BP and Shell de-merged their marketing operations in the UK by dividing Shell-Mex and BP.
1975British National Oil Corporation was formed by the govt, with the objective of maintaining adequate oil supply levels.ref,ref (Petroleum & Submarine Pipe-lines Act 1975)
1965Scottish Oils was the first company to strike oil in the North Sea.
1962Scottish Oils ceased oil-shale operations.
1959BP was one of the first companies to strike oil in the North Sea.
1919Scottish Oils Ltd, a shale oil producer, was established by APOC by merging 5 Scottish oil shale companies.
1916APOC acquired the British Petroleum Company, which was a marketing arm of the German Europäische Petroleum Union in the UK.


2017BP floated its subsidiary BP Midstream Partners LP, a pipeline operator in the USA, on the New York Stock Exchange.
2016BP sold its Decatur, Alabama, plant to Indorama Ventures, of Thailand.
2012BP shut down the BP Biofuels Highlands project in Florida, which was developed since 2008 to make cellulosic ethanol from emerging energy crops like switchgrass and from biomass.
2007BP sold its corporate-owned convenience stores, typically known as "BP Connect", to local franchisees and jobbers.
2009Together with DuPont, BP formed a biobutanol joint venture Butamax by acquiring biobutan technology company Biobutanol LLC.
2000Arco (Atlantic Richfield Company) was acquired by BP Amoco plc.
Dec.1998BP Amoco plc: BP merged with Amoco (formerly Standard Oil of Indiana).
1998–2009BP acquired other oil companies, transforming itself into the 3rd largest oil company in the world.
1987Standard Oil of Ohio: BP aquired the remaining publicly-traded shares.
Purina Mills: Ralston Purina Company sold its USA animal feed business to British Petroleum, whilst retaining the pet food and international animal feed businesses. purinamills.com
  • 1993: the Sterling Group of Houston led a leveraged buyout of Purina Mills.
1984–1985Standard Oil of California was renamed to Chevron Corporation; and it bought Gulf Oil — the largest merger in history at that time. To settle the anti-trust regulation, Chevron divested many of Gulf's operating subsidiaries, and sold some Gulf stations and a refinery in the eastern US to BP and Cumberland Farms in 1985.
1978BP acquired majority control of Standard Oil of Ohio.
1978The company acquired a controlling interest in Standard Oil of Ohio (Sohio).
1969BP entered the USA by acquiring the East Coast refining and marketing assets of Sinclair Oil Corporation.

India + Burma

 BP owns a 30% share of oil and gas assets operated by Reliance Industries, including exploration and production rights in more than 20 offshore oil and gas blocks, representing an investment of more than $7bn in oil and gas exploration.
Feb.2011BP formed a partnership with Reliance Industries, taking a 30% stake in a new Indian joint-venture for an initial payment of $7.2 bn.
1927Burmah Oil and Royal Dutch Shell formed the joint marketing company Burmah-Shell.


Dec.2017Operations in 72 countries worldwide. Its largest division is BP America in the USA.
2017In Argentina, BP and Bridas Corporation agreed to merge their interests in Pan American Energy and Axion Energy to form a jointly owned Pan American Energy Group.
2016BP's Norwegian daughter company BP Norge merged with Det Norske Oljeselskap to form Aker BP.
Jun.2014BP agreed to a $20 bn deal to supply China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) with liquefied natural gas.
2014Statoil Fuel & Retail sold its aviation fuel business to BP. To ensure the approval of competition authorities, BP agreed to sell the former Statoil aviation fuel businesses in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö airports to World Fuel Services in 2015.
Sept.2012BP sold its subsidiary BP Chemicals (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., an operator of the Kuantan purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant in Malaysia, to Reliance Industries for $230m.
2010–2013After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, BP announced a divestment program to sell about $38 bn worth of non-core assets to compensate its liabilities related to the accident. See BP § 2010 to presentWikipedia-W.svg.
2001BP Amoco plc > BP plc
2002BP acquired the majority of Veba Öl AG, a subsidiary of Veba AG, and subsequently rebranded its existing stations in Germany to the Aral name. As part of the deal, BP acquired also the Veba Öl's stake in Ruhr Öl joint venture. Ruhr Öl was dissolved in 2016.
1970–1992In the 1980s, BP diversified into coal, minerals and nutrition businesses which were all divested later. Rash investments bloated overheads. In 1992, the group posted a loss and had to embark on a drastic cost-cutting exercise.
1967BP acquired chemical and plastics assets of The Distillers Company which were merged with British Hydrocarbon Chemicals to form BP Chemicals.
1956British Petroleum Chemicals was renamed British Hydrocarbon Chemicals.
1947British Petroleum Chemicals was incorporated as a joint venture of AIOC and The Distillers Company.
1932CPC was followed by a joint marketing company Shell-Mex, and BP in the UK.
1928APOC and Shell formed the Consolidated Petroleum Company (CPC) for sale and marketing in Cyprus, South Africa and Ceylon.


1979BP's oil assets were nationalised in Nigeria.
1937AIOC and Shell formed the Shell/D'Arcy Exploration Partners partnership to explore for oil in Nigeria. The partnership was equally owned, but operated by Shell. It was later replaced by Shell-D'Arcy Petroleum Development Company and Shell-BP Petroleum Development Company (now Shell Petroleum Development Company).

The Middle East

Jun.2010Iraq: The BP/CNPC consortium took over development of the Rumaila field, which was the epicentre of the 1990 Gulf war.
2009Iraq: BP obtained a production contract during the 2009/2010 Iraqi oil services contracts tender to develop the Rumaila field with joint venture partner China National Petroleum Corporation, which contain an estimated 17bn barrels of oil, accounting for 12% of Iraq's oil reserves estimated at 143.1 bn barrels.
2000BP Amoco acquired Burmah Castrol.
2000sAzerbaijan: BP became the leading partner (and later operator) of the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline project which opened a new oil transportation route from the Caspian region.
1995Azerbaijan: BP signed an agreement for the Shah Deniz gas field development in Azerbaijani.
1994Azerbaijan: BP signed the production sharing agreement for the Azeri–Chirag–Guneshli oil project (~120 km off Azerbaijani's coast).
1992Azerbaijan: BP entered into the Azerbaijani market.
Oct.1988Kuwait: the UK Department of Trade and Industry required the KIO to reduce its shares to 9.6% within 12 months.
May.1988Kuwait: the KIO purchased additional shares, bringing their ownership to 21.6%. This raised concerns within BP that operations in the USA, BP's primary country of operations, would suffer.
Nov.1987Kuwait: the Kuwait Investment Office (KIO) purchased a 10.06% interest in BP, becoming the largest institutional shareholder.
1979Iran: BP continued to operate until the Islamic Revolution. The new regime of Ayatollah Khomeini nationalised all of BP's assets without compensation, bringing to an end its 70-year presence in Iran. As a result, BP lost 40% of its global crude oil supplies.
1975Kuwait: BP's oil assets were nationalised.
1973The intensified power struggle between oil companies and host govts in Middle East, along with the oil price shocks that followed the 1973 oil crisis meant BP lost most of its direct access to crude oil supplies produced in countries that belonged to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and prompted it to diversify its operations beyond the heavily Middle East dependent oil production.
1972Iraq: the Ba'athist Iraqi govt nationalised IPC in June. IPC then ceased operations.

British Petroleum Company

1954Iran: AIOC renamed to the British Petroleum Company Ltd.
After the Iranian coup, AIOC tried to return, but faced massive public opposition. In October, a consortiumWikipedia-W.svg "Iranian Oil Participants Ltd" (IOP) was formed to bring Iranian oil back to the international market; IOP operated and managed oil facilities in Iran on behalf of NIOC; BP had a 40% stake. Similar to the Saudi-Aramco "50/50" agreement of 1950, 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". This arrangement allowed IOP to divert and hide profits easily, thus effectively controlling Iran's profit share.
1953Iran: Prime Minister Churchill asked President Eisenhower for help in overthrowing Mossadeq. The anti-Mossadeq plan was orchestrated under the code-name 'Operation Ajax' by CIA, and 'Operation Boot' by SIS (MI6). The CIA and the British staged the 1953 Iranian coup d'étatWikipedia-W.svg in August, which established pro-Western general Fazlollah Zahedi as the new PM, and greatly strengthened the political power of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Mar.1951Iran: Razmara was assassinated and Mohammed Mossadeq, a nationalist, was elected as the new Prime Minister. After AIOC refused to allow an audit, the Iranian govt unanimously voted to nationalise its oil industry, and the National Iranian Oil CompanyWikipedia-W.svg (NIOC) was formed, displacing AIOC. AIOC withdrew from Iran, and Britain organized an effective worldwide embargo of Iranian oil. The British govt, which owned AIOC, contested the nationalisation at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, but its complaint was dismissed.
1945Iran: after World War II, nationalistic sentiments were on the rise in the Middle East; most notable being Iranian and Arab nationalism. The AIOC and the pro-western Iranian govt led by Prime Minister Ali Razmara resisted nationalist calls to revise AIOC's concession terms in Iran's favour.
1935Iran: APOC renamed to Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), as a result of Rezā Shāh requesting the international community to refer to Persia as 'Iran'.
1934Kuwait: APOC and Gulf Oil founded the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) as an equally-owned partnership. The oil concession rights were awarded to KOC on Dec.23, and the company started drilling operations in 1936.
1928–1932Iran: the D'Arcy agreement, combined with APOC's opacity and its failure to honour promises, plus falling Iranian revenues, led to a demand for re-negotiation. After years of mediation, Iran came out of the deal in 1933 even worse offWikipedia-W.svg.
1928–1968Iraq: IPC monopolised oil exploration inside the Red Line, excluding Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
1928Iraq: APOC's shareholding in IPC was reduced to 23.75%, as the result of the changing geopolitical post-Ottoman empire break-up, and the Red Line Agreement.
Relations were generally cordial between the pro-west Hashemite Monarchy and IPC, in spite of disputes centered on Iraq's wish for greater involvement and more royalties.
Oct.1927Iraq: TPC finally struck oil. TPC renamed itself the Iraq Petroleum CompanyWikipedia-W.svg (IPC).
1925Iraq: TPC received concessions in the Mesopotamian oil resources from the Iraqi govt under British mandate.
1923Iraq: Burmah Oil bribed Winston Churchill with £5,000 (£236,000 in 2011 money) to lobby the UK govt to allow AIOC sole control over Persian oil resources.
1915Iraq: APOC established its shipping subsidiary the British Tanker Company (renamed BP Tanker CompanyWikipedia-W.svg in 1956).
1913Iraq: UK govt acquired a controlling interest in APOC of 50.0025% in return for a cash injection of £2m. The British Navy switched 100% from coal to oil.
1912Iraq: The Turkish Petroleum CompanyWikipedia-W.svg (TPC) was formed to explore for oil in Mesopotamia, and to acquire oil concessions. The owners were large European companies: Deutsche Bank, the Anglo Saxon Oil Company (a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell), the National Bank of Turkey (a British concern), and Armenian businessman Calouste Gulbenkian. Gulbenkian was the driving force behind TPC's creation, and the largest shareholder was APOC, with 50%.
1912Iran: UK govt negotiated an agreement for APOC to build a refinery, depot, storage, etc.
Apr.1909Iran: Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) was formed as a subsidiary of Burmah Oil Co., to exploit the oil discoveries.
1901–1908Iran: British prospector William D'Arcy negotiated an oil concession with Shah QajarWikipedia-W.svg, which gave him exclusive rights to prospect for oil for 60 years in a vast tract of territory, including most of Iran. The Shah received £20,000 (£2m today), an equal amount in shares of D'Arcy's company, and a promise of 16% of future profits. D'Arcy searched for oil until he ran out of money, and had sold most of the rights to the Burmah Oil CompanyWikipedia-W.svg.


  1. ^ How the IPCC’s 1.5°C Report demonstrates the risks of overinvestment in Oil and Gas. The IPCC's report showed, unequivocally and comprehensively, the enormous risks from climate change that will result if warming reaches 2°C. Global Witness, Apr.2019.
  2. ^ Carbon Majors. Update 8 October 2019: Accounting for carbon and methane emissions, Top Twenty investor-owned and state-owned oil, gas, and coal companies 1965-2017. Climate Accountability Institute, Oct.08.2019.
  3. ^ New report shows just 100 companies are source of over 70% of emissions. Carbon Majors research finds 100 active fossil fuel producers including ExxonMobil, Shell, BHP Billiton and Gazprom are linked to 71% of industrial greenhouse gas emissions since 1988. CDP, Jul.10.2018.
  4. ^ BP sells petrochemical business to Ineos for $5bn. Jasper Jolly, The Guardian, Jun.29.2020.
  5. ^ BP to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide amid huge drop in demand for oil. Rupert Neate, The Guardian, Jun.08.2020.
  6. ^ BP cuts ties with three US trade groups over climate policies. Julia Kollewe, The Guardian, Feb.26.2020.
  7. ^ BP has numerous safety violations at refineries, study finds. British energy giant BP, which is battling a gigantic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, also has a record of flagrant safety violations at its US refineries, according to The Center for Public Integrity, a Washington-based investigative group. (archive.org), Grist, May.17.2010. Accessed Apr.2018.
  8. ^ Refiners to pay $422 million settlement on MTBE. Gasoline additive blamed for contaminated water supplies. Steve Gelsi, Market Watch (archive.org), May.08.2008.
  9. ^ Recapping on BP’s long history of greenwashing. In the greenwashing game, profit often comes before any reputation of honesty or respect for the true meaning of green. Today, BP plays the game with a lot of guts. Hale Walker, Greenpeace, May.21.2010.
  10. ^ About Foseco: History. Foseco plc, Sept.17.2007. Original archived
  11. ^ BP to buy Castrol for $4.7B Cable News Network, Mar.14.2000.
  12. ^ BP Exploration (Alaska) Pleads Guilty To Hazardous Substance Crime Will Pay $22 Million, Establish Nationwide Environmental Management System. US Environmental Protection Agency, Sept.23.1999.
  13. ^ BP sells feed arm for 355m pounds: CINVen consortium takes over in Europe's largest buyout in two years. Terence Wilkinson, The Independent, Aug.27.1994. Original archived on Jul.14.2017.
  14. ^ BP Funnels Millions into Lobbying to Influence Regulation and Re-Brand Image. Antonia Juhasz, interviewed by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!, May.05.2010.
  15. ^ Budweiser brewer sees the light for solar power supply. Emily Gosden, The Times, Dec.19.2018.
  16. ^ BP Re-Enters Solar Power Market With $200 Million UK Deal. Oil major buys stake in UK photovoltaic firm Lightsource; the move is less adventurous than investments by Shell and Total. James Herron, Jess Shankleman, Bloomberg, Dec.15.2017.