BP Case Study
November 10, 2011
Professor: Steven Lee
The history of BP was set in motion as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in Persia in 1901. William Knox D’Arcy, an English entrepreneur hired George Reynolds, a geologist and explorer to dig Persia for oil. Reynolds could smell natural gas and was most certain they would hit oil. After several years and after D’Arcy had spent nearly all his savings and on the verge of losing his homes, he gave Reynolds one last attempt. The orders were to drill 1600 feet and give up. This took several months of trials and tribulations but eventually paid off on May 26, 1908 after drilling 1,108 feet. A fountain of oil was discharged. Within a year, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company now known as BP became a business.
The previous years for the explorers were rough but they were no comparison over the course of the next fifteen years, where situations didn’t improve. A few factors which hindered the process of turning thick crude oil into a useable product included lack of equipment, construction delays and sickness. In 1914, the Anglo-Persian project was near bankruptcy for a second time. The problem didn’t consist of producing the oil but they had no product market. To protect Britain in World War I, the company British Petroleum was created to market its product. During the next ten years, major adjustments were made. Gas and electricity replaced kerosene, gasoline would fuel delivery vehicles and the automobile use immensely increased.
During the 1920’s and 1930’s, gasoline pumps began to appear around Britain. All was going well until World War II which caused gasoline to become a rationed commodity and forced BP as well as others to pool their fuel together. After the war ended, companies began to move forward. D’Arcy reached an agreement with former Shah of Persia to drill in the Middle East. At this time, in 1954, the board changed the company’s name to The British Petroleum Company. New technology pushed explorations into unexpected lands. Explorations began in Alaska in 1968 and in 1969 BP uncovered the largest oil reservoir ever found on the North American continent. BP was an extremely prominent force. In 1971, Muammar al-Ghaddafi announced Libya would take a higher percentage on all oil left in the Middle East. Over the next few years, BP’s supply had dwindled down to 10% from 80%. It seems as if this economic factor would cause BP to lose steam but it was just enough for BP to re-focus their energy which brought on the merger of Amoco, ARCO, and Castrol motor oil. With the emergence of a new millennium, BP began to look to the future. Research of fossil fuels and new forms of low-carbon energy was the foundation for BP to unveil its new unified global brand.
In keeping with continuous improvement, BP has published a statement which sums up their company mission, “What We Stand For”. Their mission is to be progressive in building relationships, responsible by being committed to providing a safe environment, innovative by thinking outside the box to find the next breakthrough, and performance driven to provide safe and dependable operations. The company’s attempt to live up to this mission stands the test of time. Even though BP was recently involved in an oil spill, they have continued to provide the services outlined in their mission. For example, BP was performance driven in the oil spill because they were constantly involved with the restoration and repair of the pipe that was broken. BP constantly had people searching for a solution. BP is aware of the extreme loss of marine life, environment damage and the loss of jobs. They are still working diligently a year later to correct loss of wages and restoring the ecological environment. In society, a company will not please...
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