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BP, (formerly British Petroleum and BPAmoco) is a petroleum company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. BPAmoco was formed in 2001 by what was officially described as the merger of British Petroleum and Amoco to avoid competition issues. However after one year of joint operations, the two giants merged most operations and have renamed themselves "BP" and are using the tagline "Beyond Petroleum"

In truth, the event was a takeover and the company retained the name British Petroleum, but in 2002 became officially BP, with the letters officially meaning nothing. BP also acquired Arco around the time they "merged" with Amoco. Arco was once the Atlantic Richfield Oil Company. Previously (Mid 1970's) British Petroleum had acquired Standard Oil of Ohio or Sohio.

Most Amoco gas stations in the United States are in the process of changing the look and name to British Petroleum. However in some states, the buildings and pumps are changing to BP, but the signage is staying Amoco.

It is speculated that Arco stations may soon be rebranded BP, but retain their unique business practices. Arco is also attached to the Convience Store AMPM which was included in the acquisition by BP.


1909 - 1955

In May 1901
William Knox D'Arcy was granted a concession by the Shah of Persia to search for oil, which he found in May 1908. This was the first commercially significant find in the Middle East. In 1909 the Anglo-Persian Oil Company was created to exploit this find. The company grew slowly until World War I when its strategic importance led the British Government to acquire a controlling interest in the company and it became the Royal Navy's chief source of fuel oil during World War I.

In 1917, the war allowed it to take the British arm of the German Europaische Union, which used the trade name British Petroleum. After the war ended the company, in which the British Government now had a 51% interest, moved to secure outlets in Europe and elsewhere. but its main concern was still Persia, following the Anglo-Persian Agreement of 1919 the company continued to trade profitably in that country.

There was growing dissent within Persia however at the 'imperialist' and unfair position that APOC occupied. In 1932 the Shah terminated the APOC concession. The concession was resettled within a year, covering a reduced area with an increase in the Persian government's share of profits. Persia was renamed Iran in 1936 and APOC became AIOC, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.

Following the turmoil of World War II, AIOC and the Iranian government resisted nationalist pressure to come to a renewed deal in 1949. In March 1951, the pro-western Prime Minister Ali Razmara was assassinated and in April, a bill was passed nationalising the oil industry and the AIOC and the Shah were forced to leave the country.

The AIOC took its case against the nationalisation to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, but lost the case. However the governments of Britain and the US were concerned about the encroachment of Soviet influence in the area and acted to install a friendlier government in Iran. They chose General Fazlollah Zahedi as a more suitable prime minister of Iran.

On August 19, 1953, the incumbent Prime Minister, Mohammed Mossadeq, was forced from office and replaced by Zahedi and the Shah was recalled. The AIOC became The British Petroleum Company in 1954, and briefly resumed operations in Iran with a forty percent share in an new international consortium. BP continued to operate in Iran until the Islamic Revolution. However, due to a large investment program outside Iran, the company survived the loss of its Iranian interests at that time.

1960s and 1970s

From the late 1960s the company looked beyond the Middle East to the USA (Prudhoe Bay, Alaska) and the North Sea. Both of these fields came on stream in the mid-1970s transforming the company and allowing BP to weather the OPEC-induced oil price shocks of 1973 and 1979. In 1969, BP acquired the Valdez oil terminal, Alaska, from the Chugach for $11. Some natives contend that this was an illegal transfer.

1980s and 1990s

In 1987, British Petroleum acquired Britoil and those shares of Standard Oil of Ohio (Sohio) not already owned. In 1994, BP and Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) began marketing Orimulsion®, a bitumen-based fuel.


In 2000, British Petroleum acquired Arco (Atlantic Richfield) and Burmah Castrol plc.
In 2001, British Pertoleum merged with Amoco (Formerly Standard Oil of Indiana), becoming BPAmoco.
In 2002, BPAmoco is renamed BP, with no meaning given to the letters.

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