BP p.l.c. History

Britannic House
1 Finsbury Circus
London EC2M 7BA
United Kingdom

Telephone: (207) 496-4000
Fax: (207) 496-4630

Public Company
Incorporated: 1998 as BP Amoco PLC
Employees: 107,000
Sales: $148.06 billion (2000)
Stock Exchanges: London New York Chicago Pacific Toronto Tokyo Paris Zurich Frankfurt
Ticker Symbol: BP
NAIC:32411 Petroleum Refineries; 211111 Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas Extraction; 211112 Natural Gas Liquid Extraction (pt); 48621 Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas (pt); 48611 Pipeline Transportation of Crude Oil; 48691 Pipeline Transportation of Refined Petroleum Products; 42271 Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals; 42272 Petroleum and Petroleum Products Wholesalers (Except Bulk Stations and Terminals); 324191 Petroleum Lubricating Oil and Grease Manufacturing; 42269 Other Chemical and Allied Products Wholesalers

Company Perspectives:

Energy and materials, used safely and efficiently, are essential to the prosperity and growth of the world. Sustaining and enhancing our quality of life ultimately depends on energy. Demand for energy continues to rise by 2-3% a year. BP's goal is to play a leading role in meeting these growing needs, and so aiding global development, without damaging the natural environment. We believe our involvement in the global economy is a positive and progressive one. Innovation is the hallmark of how we work with people, technology, assets and relationships. Our objective is always to be constructive and to use our expertise to produce creative solutions to every challenge. Our success depends on our making, and being seen to make, a distinctive contribution to every activity in which we are involved.

Key Dates:

Rockefeller's Standard Oil Trust establishes the Standard Oil Company (Indiana).
The Standard Oil Trust is liquidated; Standard Oil (Indiana) becomes a subsidiary of Standard Oil Company (New Jersey).
William Knox D'Arcy obtains a concession from Persia to explore for petroleum there.
D'Arcy's company becomes the first to strike oil in the Middle East.
D'Arcy and Burmah Oil form the Anglo-Persian Oil Company.
The government orders Standard Oil Company (New Jersey) to relinquish control of its subsidiaries; Standard Oil (Indiana) becomes an independent company.
The British government acquires a controlling interest in the Anglo-Persian Oil Company.
Anglo-Persian forms an oil tanker subsidiary.
Anglo-Persian acquires British Petroleum Company.
Standard (Indiana) acquires 50 percent of the American Oil Company, which marketed an antiknock gasoline under the brand name "Amoco."
Standard (Indiana) buys an interest in the Pan American Petroleum & Transport Company in the largest oil industry consolidation to date, giving Standard entry into oil fields in Mexico, Venezuela, and Iraq.
Standard (Indiana) and five other Standard companies organize the Atlas Supply Company to sell automobile tires and other accessories.
Standard (Indiana) sells Pan American's foreign interests.
Persia signs a new 60-year concession with Anglo-Persian Oil.
Anglo-Persian is renamed Anglo-Iranian Oil when Persia becomes Iran.
Amoco Chemicals is formed.
Standard (Indiana) forms a foreign exploration department to spearhead exploration efforts in Canada and other countries.
The Iranian oil industry is nationalized, ousting Anglo-Iranian Oil.
Standard Oil (Indiana) is the nation's largest domestic oil company.
Anglo-Iranian Oil is renamed the British Petroleum Company, returns to Iran.
Standard (Indiana) reorganizes, consolidating nine subsidiaries into four larger companies.
Standard (Indiana) begins to use the brand name Amoco heavily in its advertising and subsidiary names.
British Petroleum becomes the second largest chemicals company in the United Kingdom.
BP makes a major oil find at Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, partners with Standard Oil Company of Ohio (SOHIO) to develop the property.
BP discovers the Forties field, the first major commercial oil find in British waters.
Standard Oil (Indiana)'s tanker Amoco Cadiz runs aground, dumping thousands of tons of oil off the French coast.
Standard Oil (Indiana) changes its name to Amoco Corporation.
BP acquires SOHIO, forms BP America; the British government sells its shares of BP.
Amoco buys Dome Petroleum, Ltd., of Canada.
Amoco becomes the first foreign oil company to explore the Chinese mainland.
Amoco restructures, replacing its three major subsidiaries with a network of 17 business groups.
BP merges its European refining and marketing operations with Mobil Corporation.
Amoco begins a divestiture program designed to shed noncore properties.
British Petroleum acquires Amoco Corporation, forming BP Amoco PLC.
BP Amoco acquires Atlantic Richfield Co. and Burmah Castrol, changes its name to BP p.l.c.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • Bahree, Bhushan, Christopher Cooper, and Steve Liesman, "Bigger Oil: BP to Acquire Amoco in Huge Deal Spurred by Low Energy Prices," Wall Street Journal, August 12, 1998, p. A1.
  • Beck, Robert J., "State Companies Lead OGJ 100 World Reserves, Production List," Oil and Gas Journal, September 28, 1992.
  • "Big Problems: British Petroleum," Economist, February 8, 1992. "BP After Horton," Economist, July 4, 1992.
  • Chelminski, Rudolph, Superwreck: Amoco, The Shipwreck That Had to Happen, New York: Morrow, 1987.
  • Cook, James, "First-Rate Company," Forbes, May 1, 1989, pp. 84-85.
  • Dedmon, Emmett, Challenge and Response: A Modern History of Standard Oil Company (Indiana), Chicago: Mobium Press, 1984.
  • Fairhall, David, The Wreck of the Amoco Cadiz, New York: Stein and Day, 1980.
  • Ferrier, R.W., The History of the British Petroleum Company (Vol. 1), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982.
  • Giddens, Paul Henry, Standard Oil Company (Indiana): Oil Pioneer of the Middle West, New York: Arno Press, 1976.
  • Guyon, Janet, "When John Browne Talks, Big Oil Listens," Fortune, July 5, 1999, p. 116.
  • Jones, Geoffrey, The State and the Emergence of the British Oil Industry, London: Macmillan, 1981.
  • Knott, David, "BP Sharpening Focus on Improved Shareholder Value, Efficiency," Oil and Gas Journal, July 8, 1996, pp. 22-26.
  • ------, "British Petroleum Maps Strategy for Continued Gains," Oil and Gas Journal, March 22, 1993, pp. 25-29.
  • Mack, Toni, "Catching Up to Exxon," Forbes, March 13, 1995, pp. 64, 66.
  • Melcher, Richard A., Peter Burrows, and Tim Smart, "Remaking Big Oil: The Desperate Rush to Slash Costs," Business Week, August 8, 1994, pp. 20-21.
  • O'Connor, Brian, "Dealmaker Browne May Dazzle with Another Lightning Strike," Daily Mail, November 22, 2001, p. 77.
  • "An Oil Major Redefines Its Role," Petroleum Economist, February 1, 2001, p. 3.
  • Palmeri, Christopher, "A Good Match in the Oil Patch," Forbes, September 21, 1998, p. 88.
  • Strauss, Gary, and Thor Valdmanis, "BP, Amoco Nozzle Up: Oil Companies Pump Out $50 Billion Merger Deal," USA Today, August 12, 1998, p. 1B.
  • Therrien, Lois, "Amoco: Running Smoother on Less Gas," Business Week, February 15, 1993, pp. 110-12.
  • "Whittle-Down Economics," Oil and Gas Investor, November 1992, pp. 43-46.
  • Yerak, Rebecca, "Plugging the Drain at BP Oil," Plain Dealer (Cleveland), January 26, 1993.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 45. St. James Press, 2002.