To some, trading natural gas may seem daunting, to others rather dull compared with the excitements of oil. But it is a vital component of the world’s energy mixture and provides major scope for profitable trading activity.Learn more
Incorporated in 1909, BP (formerly known as British Petroleum) is a world-renowned multinational oil and gas company. It operates in all areas of the oil and gas industry, from exploration and production to refining and distribution. Today, the company provides fuel for the transportation industry, energy for heat and light, lubricants for engines, and other petrochemical products.
The company operates in two main segments: Upstream and Downstream. The Upstream section is responsible for the exploration of natural gas and oil, further processing and transportation, while Downstream specialises in the global manufacturing of fuels and petrochemicals. As of 5 April 2018, BP had a market capitalisation of around £99.08 billion. This made it the third biggest company in the FTSE.
Bob Dudley is Group Chief Executive of BP – a position he has held since October 2010. He has spent his entire career in the oil and gas industry, acquiring some formidable experience along the way. Another key figure at the company is Carl-Henric Svanberg, who has served as Chairman of the Board since January 2010.Brian Gilvary is Chief Financial Officer.
BP traces its history back to the founding of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in 1908. Almost half a century later, in 1954, the company changed its name to British Petroleum. As it expanded beyond the Middle East, it became one of the first companies to strike oil in the North Sea. The U.K. government privatised British Petroleum in the 1980s, and after a series of mergers and acquisitions (Amoco, ARCO, Burmah Castrol) the company became BP plc in 2001.
BP has been at the centre of a number of high-profile environmental and safety incidents. These include the 2005 Texas City Refinery explosion, the 2006 Prudhoe Bay oil spill, and the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The last of these in particular had severe legal and financial repercussions, with BP paying billions in fines, penalties and settlements. BP then announced a major divestment programme, under which it sold $38 billion of assets. It also created a new safety division with wide-ranging powers to oversee its operations.
The BP share price, which plunged by more than half following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, recovered somewhat in the second half of 2010. There was another dip in 2015/16, when the shares fell to 330p, but they spent most of 2017 trading in a band between around 450p and 500p. To find out how the shares are doing right now, follow Capital.com. Our BP chart puts all the information at your fingertips.
In its full year 2017 results, BP was able to report strong growth and delivery across the company. Underlying profit was up 139%; organic cash flows were back in balance; downstream underlying profit was up 24%; and upstream production was up 12% on the previous year. CEO Bob Dudley declared: “2017 was one of the strongest years in BP’s recent history.”
As of 31 December 2017, BP had operations in 72 countries around the world and some 74,500 employees. In the Americas BP is present in the USA, Canada, Mexico and Brazil; in Europe and Eurasia it has operations in the U.K., Germany, Russia, Turkey and numerous other countries; in Asia Pacific BP has a presence in China, India, Japan and Australia to name but a few; and in Africa it’s active in Algeria, Egypt, Mozambique and South Africa.
BP has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It has secondary listings on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange. Check out Capital.com for the latest BP chart. We’ll keep you up to date and in the picture.
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