The company’s businesses are divided in three major segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Other Businesses. The Downstream sector is by far the largest segment, generating over 70 percent of BP’s total revenues in most years. Downstream generally includes the processing and final distribution of fuels, lubricants, and petrochemicals. North America and Africa are the most important regions for BP’s oil production.
BP was linked with a number of environmental, health, and safety violations over the last few decades. The latest and most remembered accident is the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, the largest marine oil spill in history. The U.S. government estimated the quantity of spilled oil at some 4.9 million barrels. Until year-end of 2013, the oil spill has cost the company some 28 billion U.S. dollars due to various payments.
The company has since started diversifying its operations by increasing capital investments in low-carbon energy projects such as offshore wind so as to reduce its huge carbon footprint.