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British Petroleum History

BP’s (British Petroleum) origins can be traced back to 1901 when William Know tried to explore oil in Persia. The first commercial oil discovery was made in the Middle East by BP in 1908. In 1935, the company prospered and was renamed the Anglo- Iranian Oil Company. Its exploration operations expanded into North America (mainly Alaska), South America, Africa, and Europe.

 The oil crisis in the 1970s led to a renewed expansion in oil exploration into the North Sea and Alaska, and the diversification of energy sources into coal, gas, and solar sources. This led to acquisition of Standard Oil in 1987, formation of BP America and the acquisition of Britoil in 1988. In 1998, BP and Amoco merged to create BP Amoco, an international energy and petrochemicals group with global operations. At the time, it was the largest ever industrial merger.

In 2000, BP Amoco acquired Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) and Burmah Castrol, and changed its name to BP in 2001. BP acquired Veba Oel’s retail and refining assets in Germany and central Europe in 2001. This made BP the market leader in Germany and Austria and substantially strengthened its position in Poland and several other central European countries. BP also signed a number of agreements covering investments totaling around $1 billion to strengthen its presence in the growing Chinese energy market.

The company also transferred the Mardi gas pipeline system in the Gulf of Mexico from exploration and production to refining and marketing, and a small US operation supplying petrochemicals feedstock from gas, power, and renewable (GP&R) to olefins and derivatives. Subsequently in 2007, BP and its Libyan partner, the Libya Investment Corporation (LIC), signed a major exploration and production agreement with Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC). BP, on behalf of the Shah Deniz partnership, announced a major new gas-condensate discovery in the Shah Deniz field in the Caspian Sea, in the same year.

BP Egypt made a significant gas discovery at record depths in the Nile Delta, in early 2008. Subsequently, BP and its partner, Marathon Petroleum West of Shetlands, announced new oil discovery in Block 204/23, following drilling on the South-West Foinaven prospect. In 2008, BP and ConocoPhillips formed of a joint venture company called Denali – The Alaska Gas Pipeline. Later on, BP and Verenium (a company engaged in producing alternative energy fuels), created a strategic partnership to accelerate the development and commercialization of celluloses ethanol.

In June 2009, BP announced the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary, BP West Java (BPWJ), to Indonesian state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina (Persero). In the same month, BP announced the sale of its ground fuels marketing business in Greece to Hellenic Petroleum for E359 million (approximately $500 million).

Bp also made a giant oil discovery at its Tiber Prospect in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico, in

September 2009. The well, was drilled to a total depth of approximately 35,055 feet (10,685

Meters) making it one of the deepest wells ever drilled by the oil and gas industry. In August 2010, BP agreed to sell its oil and gas exploration, production, and transportation business in Colombia to a consortium of Ecopetrol, Colombia's national oil company (51%), and Talisman of Canada (49%).




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