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BP America Inc Company History Timeline


On 14 April 1909, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) was incorporated as a subsidiary of Burmah Oil Company.

• 1909: D’Arcy and Burma Oil Company form the Anglo-Persian Oil Company Limited


• 1912: The first service station from BP heritage company Standard Oil of Indiana (Amoco) opened in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The refinery was built and began operating in 1912.


In 1913, the British government acquired a controlling interest (50.0025%) in the company then, at the urging of Winston Churchill, the then First Lord of the Admiralty, the British navy quickly switched from coal to oil for the majority of their war ships.


In 1914, APOC signed a 30-year contract with the British Admiralty for supplying oil for the Royal Navy at the fixed price.


• 1917: Anglo-Persian acquires British Petroleum Company.


In 1919, the company became a shale-oil producer by establishing a subsidiary named Scottish Oils which merged remaining Scottish oil-shale industries.


In 1923, Burmah employed Winston Churchill as a paid consultant to lobby the British government to allow APOC have exclusive rights to Persian oil resources, which were subsequently granted by the Iranian monarchy.


In 1925, TPC received concession in the Mesopotamian oil resources from the Iraqi government under British mandate.


TPC finally struck oil in Iraq on 14 October 1927.

In 1927, Burmah Oil and Royal Dutch Shell formed the joint marketing company Burmah-Shell.


During the 1928–68 time period, IPC monopolised oil exploration inside the Red Line; excluding Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

By 1928, the APOC's shareholding in TPC, which by now was named Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC), was reduced to 23.75%; as the result of the changing geopolitics post Ottoman empire break-up, and the Red Line Agreement.


• 1932: BP and Shell merged their U.K. market operations to form Shell-Mex.


• 1934: Shell-Mex and BP acquire the Power Petroleum Company.

In 1934, APOC and Gulf Oil founded the Kuwait Oil Company as an equally owned partnership.

To save money, major upgrades to the 1934 refinery had been postponed.


• 1935: The name of the Anglo-Persian company is changed to the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company Limited, the same year Persia became Iran.

In 1935, Rezā Shāh requested the international community to refer to Persia as 'Iran', which was reflected in the name change of APOC to the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC).


In 1937, AIOC and Shell formed the Shell/D'Arcy Exploration Partners partnership to explore for oil in Nigeria.

In 1937, Iraq Petroleum Company, 23.75% owned by BP, signed an oil concession agreement with the Sultan of Muscat that covers the entire region of the Sultanate, which was in fact limited to the coastal area of present-day Oman.


• 1940’s: 44 Anglo-Iranian tankers were sunk during World War II, resulting in the loss of 657 lives.


In 1947, British Petroleum Chemicals was incorporated as a joint venture of AIOC and The Distillers Company.


IOP operated and managed oil facilities in Iran on behalf of NIOC. Similar to the Saudi-Aramco "50/50" agreement of 1950, the consortium agreed to share profits on a 50–50 basis with Iran, "but not to open its books to Iranian auditors or to allow Iranians onto its board of directors."


• 1954: The name of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company is changed to British Petroleum Company Limited.

Later, in 1954, the Sultan of Muscat, backed by the British government and the financial aid he received from IPC, started occupying regions within the interior of Oman, which led to the outbreak of Jebel Akhdar War that lasted for more than 5 years.

In 1954, the AIOC became the British Petroleum Company.


In 1956, the company was renamed British Hydrocarbon Chemicals.

In 1956, its subsidiary D'Arcy Exploration Co. (Africa) Ltd. has been granted four oil concessions in Libya.


• 1958: BP reaches agreement with Sinclair Oil Corporation to form two companies: 1.) selling BP’s Middle East crude in the United States through Sinclair’s downstream facilities; 2.) engaging in exploration primarily in Latin America.


• 1960’s: BP’s oil exploration in Libya begins to pay huge dividends.


In 1965, it was the first company to strike oil in the North Sea.


• 1967: British Petroleum becomes the second largest chemicals company in the United Kingdom.

• 1967: Paula Harris, a Senior Mathematician in BP’s Computer Department, becomes the first female employee admitted to its Senior Luncheon Club.

In 1967, the giant oil tanker Torrey Canyon foundered off the English coast.

In 1967, BP acquired chemical and plastics assets of The Distillers Company which were merged with British Hydrocarbon Chemicals to form BP Chemicals.


• 1969: The first BP sign appears at a service station in Atlanta, Ga on April 29, 1969

• 1969: BP makes an oil find at Prudhoe Bay in Alaska on the North Slope; and begins partnering with Standard Oil Company of Ohio (SOHIO) in order to develop the property.

In 1969, BP entered the United States by acquiring the East Coast refining and marketing assets of Sinclair Oil Corporation.


• 1970’s: In an effort to diversify, BP developed an extensive coal business, principally in the United States, Australia, and South Africa.

• 1970’s: BP discovers the Forties field, the first major commercial oil discovery in British waters.


• 1977: BP and SOHIO complete the development of the Prudhoe Bay oil field with the construction of a 800-mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline.


In Iran, British Petroleum continued to operate until the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

The British government sold 80 million shares of BP at $7.58 in 1979, as part of Thatcher-era privatisation.


In 1981, British Petroleum entered into the solar technology sector by acquiring 50% of Lucas Energy Systems, a company which became Lucas BP Solar Systems, and later BP Solar.


In 1982, the downstream assets of BP Canada were sold to Petro Canada.


In 1984, Standard Oil of California was renamed to Chevron Corporation; and it bought Gulf Oil—the largest merger in history at that time.


To meet anti-trust regulations, Chevron divested many of Gulf's operating subsidiaries, and sold some Gulf stations and a refinery in the eastern United States to British Petroleum and Cumberland Farms in 1985.


In November 1987 the Kuwait Investment Office purchased a 10.06% interest in BP, becoming the largest institutional shareholder.

• 1987: BP acquires SOHIO; forms BP America.

In 1987, British Petroleum negotiated the acquisition of Britoil and the remaining publicly traded shares of Standard Oil of Ohio.


• 1990: BP undergoes a corporate restructuring, called ``Project 1990’’ in which nearly 90 percent of corporate center committees were abolished, while top-heavy structured departments were downsized to small flexible teams with more open lines of communication.


In 1992, British Petroleum sold off its 57% stake in BP Canada (upstream operations), which was renamed as Talisman Energy.


• 1997: BP announced it was building its first service stations in Japan, while acquiring a 10 percent equity stake in AO Sidanco, a major Russian oil and gas company.

In 1997, it acquired 10% stake in Russian oil company Sidanco, which later became a part of TNK-BP.


British Petroleum merged with Amoco (formerly Standard Oil of Indiana) in December 1998, becoming BP Amoco plc.

• 1998: In a $50 billion deal, British Petroleum acquires Amoco Corporation, the fifth largest oil company in the United States and largest producer of natural gas in North America, forming BP Amoco PLC, which was now 60 percent owned by BP shareholders and headed by BP’s CEO Sir John Browne.


• 2000: BP drops ``Amoco’’ from its name and is now simply called, ``BP, p.l.c.’’ A new BP logo color scheme is introduced: a green and yellow sunburst

• 2000: BP Amoco acquires Atlantic Richfield Co and Burmah Castrol.

• 2000: BP Amoco PLC incorporated as BP p.l.c.

• 2000: BP makes $12 billion in pre-tax profits, a record for a British company.

In 2000, BP Amoco acquired Arco (Atlantic Richfield Co.) and Burmah Castrol.

As part of the merger's brand awareness, the company helped the Tate Modern gallery of British Art launch RePresenting Britain 1500–2000.


• 2001: Madison Oil acquires BP’s ARCO Turkey Inc business for $3.4 billion

In 2001, in response to negative press on British Petroleum's poor safety standards, the company adopted a green sunburst logo and rebranded itself as BP ("Beyond Petroleum") plc.


In 2002, BP acquired the majority of Veba Öl AG, a subsidiary of VEBA AG, and subsequently rebranded its existing stations in Germany to the Aral name.


On 1 September 2003, BP and a group of Russian billionaires, known as AAR (Alfa-Access-Renova), announced the creation of a strategic partnership to jointly hold their oil assets in Russia and Ukraine.

• 2003: BP sells a number of refineries, plants, and retail operations throughout the United States, Canada, Singapore, Central Europe and Germany.


• 2004: August, BP merged the automotive lubricant operations of Petrolub International Co Ltd and BP Japan, forming a new enterprise called BP Castrol KK, which held an estimated seven percent of the Japanese automotive lubricant market.


On 23 March 2005, 15 workers were killed and more than 170 injured in the Texas City Refinery explosion.

• 2005: An explosion at BP’s Texas refinery in the United States results in 15 deaths and 170 injuries.

• 2005: BP sells its Innovene chemicals business to the Ineos Group (in the U.K.) for approximately $9 billion.


• 2006: BP deals with two oil spills in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, resulting from corroded pipelines and the spilling of 267,000 gallons of thick crude oil over two acres on the Tundra of Alaska’s North Slope.


Lord Browne resigned from BP on 1 May 2007.

• 2007: BP agrees to pay $373 million in restitution and fines to settle illegal propane trading allegations, including alleged environmental violations centering on the Alaskan pipeline leaks and Texas refinery explosion.

• 2007: BP’s annual profits fell 22 percent, reaching $17.3 billion.

• 2007: Tony Hayward succeeds John Browne after a storm of controversy surrounding Mr.

In 2007, BP sold its corporate-owned convenience stores, typically known as "BP Connect", to local franchisees and jobbers.


• 2008: Falling profits, results in 5,000 job losses at BP, 60 percent of which were corporate positions.

At the same year it was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange where its share were traded until delisting in 2008.


• 2009: On April 14, BP celebrates its 100th anniversary.

• 2009: In early 2009, the State of Alaska, the United States Justice Department, and the United States Department of Transportation all filed civil lawsuits against BP’s exploration business relating to the oil spill in Prudhoe Bay.

• 2009: BP ends the year with 80,300 employees and $239 million in sales and operating revenues.

In 2009, Hayward shifted emphasis from Lord Browne's focus on alternative energy, announcing that safety would henceforth be the company's "number one priority".

Together with DuPont, BP formed a biobutanol joint venture Butamax by acquiring biobutan technology company Biobutanol LLC in 2009.

In 2009, BP obtained a production contract to develop the supergiant Rumaila field with joint venture partner CNPC.


In January 2010, Carl-Henric Svanberg became chairman of BP board of directors.

• 2010: June 15th, a government panel estimates that as much as 60,000 barrels a day could be gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, making it the largest offshore oil spill in United States history.

• 2010: Bloomberg Business Week estimates BP faces more than 225 lawsuits in 11 states; and additionally reports the combined cleanup, restoration and litigation costs of the spill could exceed $37 billion, according to a June 2 report by Credit Suisse

In July 2010, BP sold its natural gas activities in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada, to Apache Corporation.


In February 2011, BP formed a partnership with Reliance Industries, taking a 30% stake in a new Indian joint-venture for an initial payment of $7.2 billion.

The company announced its departure from the solar energy market in December 2011 by closing its solar power business, BP Solar.


In September 2012, BP sold its subsidiary BP Chemicals (Malaysia) Sdn.


In June 2014, BP agreed to a deal worth around $20 billion to supply CNOOC with liquefied natural gas.


In 2016, BP sold its Decatur, Alabama, plant to Indorama Ventures, of Thailand.


In April 2017, the company reached an agreement to sell its Forties pipeline system in the North Sea to Ineos for $250 million.


In July 2018, the company agreed to purchase BHP's shale assets in Texas and Louisiana for $10.5 billion.

Also in 2018, BP bought a 16.5% interest in the Clair field in the UK from ConocoPhillips, increasing its share to 45.1%. BP paid £1.3 billion and gave to ConocoPhillips its 39.2% non-operated stake in the Kuparuk River Oil Field and satellite oil fields in Alaska.


On 29 June 2020 BP sold its petrochemicals unit to Ineos for $5 billion. It had interests in 14 plants in Asia, Europe and the United States, and achieved production of 9.7 million metric tons in 2019.


Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, BP claimed that it would "accelerate the transition to a lower carbon economy and energy system" after announcing that the company had to writedown $17.5 billion for the second quarter of 2020.

Company Founded
Warrenville, IL
Company Headquarter
Charles Greenway,William D'Arcy
Company Founders
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BP America Inc may also be known as or be related to Aurora BP, BP America, BP America Inc, Bp America Limited, Standard Oil of New Jersey and Esso.