BP is most well known for two things – its famous yellow and green sunburst logo, and the largest marine oil spill in history.

British Petroleum (BP) is one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world. By market capitalization, it’s the sixth-largest energy company in the world and the sixth-largest oil and gas company in the world. 

Vertical Lines

BP’s company is organized into a vertical system. Everything here goes from the top-down, with the company having a whole host of functions coming through its central organization.

British Petroleum runs a huge number of facilities that support a wide variety of products. These include refining, exploration, production, distributing, marketing, power generation, power trading, petrochemicals, wind power, solar power, and biofuels.

The cohesion and quality control throughout the company has helped BP to extend its brand all over the world. 

Branching out, BP owns interests in several major international companies. These include its almost twenty percent stake in Russian hydrocarbon giant Rosneft. BP has two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Castrol and Amoco

Major Oil

This company has operations in eighty countries all over the world. It produces about three point seven million barrels of oil each day. British Petroleum has reserves of nearly two billion barrels of oil to back up its consistent delivery of petrochemical products. 

Worldwide, British Petroleum serves almost nineteen thousand service stations, with its largest division being housed in the United States. 

Deepwater Horizon

A series of major safety and environmental incidents have colored the public perception of BP as well as challenging its finances. 

At its Texas City Refinery in 2005, there was a major explosion that killed fifteen employees and resulted in one of the largest OSHA fines in history.

The largest oil spill in the history of Britain was the result of the wreck of Torrey Canyon and involved BP’s interests in 1967. The Prudhoe Bay oil spill was the largest in the history of Alaska’s North Slope in 2006. This caused BP to get hit with a massive twenty-five million dollar penalty in civil court. 

The biggest of the big is the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that took place in 2010. It spilled one point eight million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The company ended up pleading guilty to one felony count of lying to Congress, two misdemeanor counts, and eleven felony counts of manslaughter. In addition, BP paid over four and a half-billion dollars in fines and penalties in what was the largest case of criminal resolution in United States history. Additionally, the company paid out eighteen point seven billion dollars in civil court to five states. 

Anglo-Persian Oil Company

Going back to 1908, BP’s former life was as the Anglo Persian Oil Company. This company was a subsidiary of Burmah Oil Company, which had the mission of getting at oil discoveries in Iran. The company changed its name in 1935 to the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company before finally adopting its permanent and most famous moniker of British Petroleum following the Second World War in 1954.

Though the company started out with its focus in the Middle East, it expanded to the North Sea in 1959. 

Though BP was originally owned by the British Government, it privatized in a series of stages that took nearly a decade before finalizing in 1989. 

With more than a hundred years in business and despite a series of major setbacks, BP is still one of the most profitable companies in the world.