BP PLC

formerly Anglo-Persian Oil Co., Ltd., British Petroleum Co. PLC, and BP Amoco

British petrochemical corporation.

Formed in 1909 as the Anglo-Persian Oil Co., Ltd., to finance an oil-field concession granted by the Iranian government to William Knox D'Arcy, it became one of the largest oil companies in the world, with oil fields and refineries in Alaska and the North Sea. The British government was for many years BP's largest single stockholder, but by the late 1980s it had turned over the company to private ownership. In 1987 BP consolidated its U.S. interests by acquiring the Standard Oil Co. In 1998 it merged with Amoco (formerly Standard Oil of Indiana) to form BP-Amoco. In addition to oil and natural gas, it produces chemicals, plastics, and synthetic fibres. Its headquarters are in London.

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▪ British corporation
also known as (1954–2000)  British Petroleum 

      British petrochemical corporation that became the world's largest oil company through its merger with the Amoco Corporation of the United States in 1998. BP was initially registered on April 14, 1909, as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, Ltd. It was renamed the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, Ltd., in 1935 and changed its name to the British Petroleum Company Limited in 1954. The name British Petroleum Company PLC was adopted in 1982. After merging with Amoco in 1998, the corporation took the name BP Amoco before assuming the name BP PLC in 2000. The company's headquarters are in London.

      The Anglo-Persian Oil Company was formed to take over and finance an oil-field concession granted by the Iranian (Iran) government to an English investor, William Knox D'Arcy. The first successful oil wells were drilled at Masjed Soleymān, and crude oil was piped to a refinery built at Ābādān, from which the first cargo of oil was exported in March 1912. Other Iranian fields and refineries were built, and by 1938 Ābādān had the largest single refinery in the world. The concession was revised in 1933, briefly suspended in 1951–53, and renewed in 1953 in a consortium with other oil companies.

      In 1914 the British government became the company's principal stockholder and remained so. Effective January 1, 1955, British Petroleum became a holding company. Beginning in 1977 the British government reduced its ownership of British Petroleum by selling shares to the public, and in the late 1980s the government turned over British Petroleum entirely to private ownership by selling its remaining shares. This cleared the way for British Petroleum to acquire Britoil PLC, an independent oil company that produced oil from the North Sea fields.

      British Petroleum developed oil fields and built refineries in several more countries, including major interests in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay and in the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea, where, in 1965, British Petroleum made the first commercial discovery of natural gas and, in 1970, the first discovery of a major oil field. Beginning in 1970, BP merged its assets in the United States with those of the Standard Oil Company (Ohio), in which BP acquired a controlling interest. In 1987 BP acquired the remainder of the Standard Oil Company for almost $8 billion, thereby reinforcing its position as one of the world's leading oil companies. In merging with U.S. oil giant Amoco (Amoco Corporation) in 1998, the newly created BP Amoco became the largest petroleum concern in the world. The corporation changed its name to BP PLC following the acquisitions, in 2000, of Atlantic Richfield (Atlantic Richfield Company) (known for ARCO brand gasoline in the western United States) and Burmah Castrol (a leading British oil, gas, and lubricants company).

      BP and its subsidiaries and associated companies engage in the exploration, production, refining, transportation, and distribution of oil and natural gas and in the manufacture of chemicals, plastics, and synthetic fibres. It operates convenience stores and filling stations through brands such as BP, Aral, ARCO, and am/pm.

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Universalium. 2010.

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