BP plc is one of the largest players within the energy, oil, and gas industry worldwide. The company was formerly known as British Petroleum and has its roots in the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, which was founded in 1909. As of 2015, BP was the seventh-largest oil and gas company worldwide based on market value. In 2016, BP reported around 183 billion U.S. dollars of revenue, which also placed it in the top ten within the whole industry. BP employs around 74,500 people all around the world.
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 90 percent of BP’s total revenues. 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.
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