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BP (formerly known as "British Petroleum") is a global oil, gas and chemical company headquartered in Britain and responsible for the largest environmental disaster ever in the United States, the April 20, 2010, blowout of its Deepwater Horizon oil well in the Gulf of Mexico (discussed in more detail below). The company owns numerous refineries and chemical manufacturing plants around the world. [1] BP is the United Kingdom's largest corporation. Its global headquarters are in London, and its U.S. headquarters are in Houston, Texas. Its major brands include BP, AmPm, ARCO, and Castrol. The company reported in 2012 that natural gas makes up more than half of BP's energy production, making us the largest producer and supplier in the U.S.[1]

Access the BP's corporate rap sheet compiled and written by Good Jobs First here.

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

In August 2011, BP was a "President" level sponsor of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Annual Conference[2] ($100,000 in 2010)[3] in New Orleans, Louisiana, not far from the site of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

It was a "President" level sponsor of 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council Annual Conference, which in 2010, equated to $100,000.[4] BP was also a sponsor of the Louisiana Welcome Reception at the 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting.[5]

BP announced on March 23, 2015 that it was cutting ties with ALEC. A spokesperson told the National Review, "We continually assess our engagements with policy and advocacy organizations and based on our most recent assessment, we have determined that we can effectively pursue policy matters of current interest to BP without renewing our membership in ALEC."[6] The announcement made BP the third major fossil fuel company to sever ties with ALEC.[7]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our ExposedbyCMD.org site.

Ties to Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission

BP served as a sponsor for the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission's 2014 and 2015 annual meetings held in both Columbus, Ohio and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.[8][9]

Deepwater Horizon Disaster

BP's Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster

BP contracted with Transocean to operate the deep water oil drilling rig, "Deepwater Horizon," that exploded on April 20, 2010, killing eleven workers. It began releasing over 200,000 gallons of oil per day into the Gulf of Mexico, and continued spewing millions of gallons of oil until mid-July 2010, although the disaster did not "end" when the main well was capped. [10]

BP's actions involving the safety of this dangerous drilling operation and the efforts to contain the spill or clean it up have caused tremendous controversy. [11]For example, its use of hazardous chemicals to "disperse" to oil is leading to other significant problems and does not actually "clean up" the oil, as discussed below.[12] See more at the article on Deepwater Horizon

Independent monitoring

Wildlife and environmental groups accused BP of holding back information about the extent and impact of the growing slick, and urged the White House to order a more direct federal government role in the spill response. In prepared testimony for a congressional committee, National Wildlife Federation President Larry Schweiger said BP had failed to disclose results from its tests of chemical dispersants used on the spill, and that BP had tried to withhold video showing the true magnitude of the leak.[13] On May 19 BP established a live feed of the oil spill after hearings in Congress accused the company of withholding data from the ocean floor and blocking efforts by independent scientists to come up with estimates for the amount of crude flowing into the Gulf each day.[14][15] On May 20 United States Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar indicated that the U.S. government would verify how much oil has leaked into the Gulf of Mexico.[16] Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and United States Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano asked for the results of tests looking for traces of oil and dispersant chemicals in the waters of the gulf.[17]

Media Blackout

Journalists attempting to document the impact of the oil spill were repeatedly refused access to public areas and photojournalists were prevented from flying over areas of the gulf to document the scope of the disaster. These accusations were levelled at local law enforcement, USCG and other government officials, and even BP and its contractors.[18][19] Scientists also complained about prevention of access to information controlled by BP and government sources.[18] BP stated that its policy is to allow the media and other parties as much access as possible.[18] On June 11, News anchor Scott Walker a reporter for the television news channel WDSU was harassed by private security personnel while trying to interview workers about the clean-up efforts. The guards - who never identified who they were working for - told Walker he could not question the workers and was not allowed on the public beach.[2]The confrontation was all captured on Camera. Once the news anchor finally made it past the guards with the permission of local law enforcement the government workers were adamant about not wanting to answer questions.[3] On June 30, the Coast Guard put new restrictions in place across the Gulf Coast that prevented vessels from coming within 20-meters of booming operations, boom, or oil spill response operations ”.[20] In a press briefing, Coast Guard admiral Thad Allen said the new regulation was related to safety issues.[21] On CNN's 360, host Anderson Cooper rejected the motivation for the restrictions outright.[22]

Violation Tracker
Discover Which Corporations are the Biggest Violators of Environmental, Health and Safety Laws in the United States
Violation Tracker is the first national search engine on corporate misconduct covering environmental, health, and safety cases initiated by 13 federal regulatory agencies. Violation Tracker is produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First. Click here to access Violation Tracker.

Other BP spills and disasters

BP has a history of incidents, having over 8,000 other spills (of oil, dangerous chemicals, gases, etc.) since 1990, both minor and major. [23] Between 2,205 and 2,629 incidents occurred in Texas and Louisiana each, and there are over two dozen other states that all have suffered a number of oil or chemical spills.[24] There were 550 previous incidents in the Mississippi Canyon near the area where the current Deepwater Horizon disaster is unfolding.[25]

Two major incidents in the recent past are the Texas City Refinery explosion and the Prudhoe Bay spill. In 2005, in a refinery located in Texas City, Texas, a unit that manufactures jet fuel exploded, leading to 15 deaths and 170 injuries.[26] Investigation showed that the accident was due in part to placing temporary trailers near very volatile units, which the BP management did to cut maintenance and capital spending costs.[27] Other factors that contributed to the accident were corroded pipes about to burst, antiquated equipment, and broken safety alarms; the poor status of the facility was both easily fixable and known by the management.[28]

In 2006, a BP pipeline in Alaska burst and 267,000 gallons of crude oil was spilled into the North Slope of Alaska's tundra.[29] Again the cause of the accident was easily preventable: BP virtually abandoned the process of cleaning and inspecting pipes for corrosion to save on costs.[30]

Manipulating gas and propane prices

BP was also accused of manipulating gas and propane prices earlier this decade.[31] Regulators alleged that BP artificially increased prices of crude oil and gasoline by buying up stocks and controlling the market; they drove up the prices by 50% by keeping supplies off the market.[32] BP eventuallly settled in 2007 and agreed to pay $303 million dollars to end the charges against them.[33]

BP Profits and Lobbying

From Marketwatch[34]:

Annual Financials for BP Plc
All amounts from December of their respective year; further information at source.
Operating Revenue
2009 - $239,272,000,000
2008 - $361,143,000,000
2007 - $284,365,000,000
2006 - $265,906,000,000

Gross Operating Profit
2009 - $47,430,000,000
2008 - $57,570,000,000
2007 - $52,915,000,000
2006 - $50,764,000,000

Operating Profit before Depreciation (EBITDA)
2009 - $33,392,000,000
2008 - $42,158,000,000
2007 - $37,544,000,000
2006 - $36,317,000,000

Income Before Tax (EBT)
2009 - $25,124,000,000
2008 - $34,283,000,000
2007 - $31,611,000,000
2006 - $35,142,000,000

Total Net Income
2009 - $16,578,000,000
2008 - $21,157,000,000
2007 - $20,845,000,000
2006 - $22,315,000,000

The BP political action committee (PAC) gave $219,500 to federal candidates in the 05/06 election cycle - 34% to Democrats, 65% to Republicans. [35] A summary of the BP PAC data is below, from Open Secrets:

Total Spent - $173,781
Contributions to Federal Candidates - $75,550 (42% to Democrats, 58% to Republicans)

Total Spent - $619,255
Contributions to Federal Candidates - $198,500 (41% to Democrats, 59% to Republicans)

Total Spent - $601,696
Contributions to Federal Candidates - $219,500 (34% to Democrats, 65% to Republicans)

Total Spent - $678,337
Contributions to Federal Candidates - $220,499 (38% to Democrats, 62% to Republicans)

BP is one of the largest energy company contributors to both Republican and Democratic candidates for Congress. These contributions total $122,300 to the 110th US Congress (as of the third quarter), the largest of which has been to Rep. Mary Landrieu (D-LA). Rep. Landrieu, for her part, has been supportive of the oil industry on energy, war and climate bills.[4] (Add information from more recent reports)

More information on oil industry contributions to Congress can be found at FollowtheOilMoney.org, created by Oil Change International.

The company spent $3,650,000 for lobbying in 2006. BP used several lobbying firms but most lobbying was done with its in-house lobbyists. [36]

BP's lobbying focuses on tax incentives for oil and gas production and opposes mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions and following U.S. trade relations and policy in the Middle East. Through membership in a trade association known as the Organization for International Investment, BP has lobbied to gain exemptions from U.S. corporate law reforms. BP has withdrawn from a coalition advocating for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but continues to seek access to the area.[37]

BP has several powerful lobbying connections.[38] They are currently working with the Brunswick Group in response to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Brunswick's Washington, D.C. office includes Hilary Rosen, former Democratic congressional aide; Anthony Coley and David Sutphen, both former aides to the late Senator Edward Kennedy; and Michele Davis, former Treasury Department officer under former president George W. Bush and a GOP congressional aide.[39]

BP also employs the Podesta Group, led by Anthony Podesta.[40] Podesta's brother is John Podesta, former president Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff. Id.[41]

Other major lobbyists include Jim Turner, former House Democrat of Texas, now with the Arnold & Porter firm.[42]; Ken Duberstein, former White House Chief of Staff under former president Reagan[43]; republican Michelle Laxalt; and Michel Berman, president of the Duberstein firm[44].


Board of Directors From the company's website: [5]

  • Tony Hayward, CEO

Tony Hayward began his career with BP in 1982. He's played technical and commercial roles in BP Exploration in the U.K., France, and China and Colombia, and, in September 1995, became President of BP Venezuela. In August 1997, he returned to London as Director of BP Exploration. Hayward became Group Vice President of BP Amoco Exploration and Production as well as a member of the group’s Upstream Executive Committee in 1999. He was appointed Group Treasurer in 2000. He became Chief Executive, Exploration and Production, in January 2003. Hayward is also a nonexecutive director at Corus Group and a member of the Citibank Advisory Board. In 2005, he was appointed a Companion of the Chartered Management Inst. in the U.K. for his achievements in leadership in the energy industry.

  • Carl-Henric Svanberg, Chairman

Carl-Henric Svanberg was appointed Chairman of BP on January 1st, 2010, succeeding Peter Sutherland. Before coming to BP, Svanberg was chief executive officer of Ericsson and chairman of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB. Svanberg continues to be a non-executive director of Ericsson, and is also on the boards of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, Melker Schörling AB and the University of Uppsala. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development and of the external advisory board of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

  • Iain Conn, Chief Executive Director of Refining and Marketing

Iain Conn is the chief executive of the BP Group's refining and marketing business and also holds regional responsibility for Europe, Southern Africa and Asia Pacific. He joined BP oil international in 1986, working in a variety of roles in commercial refining and oil trading and in corporate headquarters before moving to BP exploration in Colombia in 1996. At the end of 1997, he became senior vice president of BP oil in the US, responsible for retail and commercial marketing operations, refining and supply. On the merger between BP and Amoco, in January 1999 he moved to become vice president of BP Amoco exploration’s mid-continent business unit. At the end of 2000, he returned to London as group vice president and a member of the refining and marketing segment’s executive committee, with responsibility for BP’s marketing business in Asia, Russia, Africa and Latin America. In 2001, he took over responsibility for BP’s marketing operations in Europe and for the integration of Veba Oel. From 2002 until 2004, he was chief executive of BP petrochemicals.

Robert (Bob) Dudley is a member of the BP board of directors and a member of the BP executive management team. He will assume responsibility for broad oversight of the group’s activities in the Americas and Asia. Bob joined Amoco Corporation in 1979, for whom he worked until its merger with BP in 1998. In his early career he held a variety of engineering and commercial posts in the US and UK. From 1987 he worked on the negotiation and development of projects in the South China Sea, following which he was involved in the restructuring of oil and gas research and development activities in the US. Between 1994 and 1997 he was based in Moscow working on corporate development for both upstream and downstream businesses in Russia. In 1997 he became general manager for strategy for Amoco and following the Amoco merger was appointed to a similar role in BP in 1999. From 1999 – 2000 he was appointed executive assistant to the group chief executive officer, following which he was group vice president for BP’s renewables and alternative energy activities, with responsibilities for BP’s global solar business and wind and hydrogen activities. He then took up the role of group vice president responsible for BP’s upstream businesses in Russia, the Caspian Region, Angola, Algeria and Egypt. In 2003, following the formation of TNK-BP – a joint venture between BP and Russian partners – Bob assumed the role of president and chief executive officer until December 2008. Bob was appointed an executive director of the BP board on 6 April 2009 and is an executive vice president and a member of the executive management team.

Dr. Grote is a member of the BP board of directors and a member of the BP executive management team. Dr. Grote joined The Standard Oil Company of Ohio in 1979 and in 1985 became director of planning for The Standard Oil Company’s mining subsidiary, Kennecott. In 1986, he was appointed vice president, retail marketing. In 1988, Dr. Grote became commercial vice president for BP’s Alaskan North Slope production activities. In 1989, he was appointed commercial general manager of BP exploration, based in London. He became group treasurer and chief executive officer of BP finance in 1992, directing the global finance operations of the BP group. In 1994, he took up the position of regional chief executive in Latin America. He returned to London in 1995 to take up his appointment as deputy chief executive officer of BP exploration. He became group chief of staff in 1997, with responsibility for a number of corporate areas, including strategy, technology, IT, investor relations and solar. Following the merger of BP and Amoco, in 1999 he was appointed executive vice president, exploration and production. Between 1999 and 2000, he was responsible for directing the acquisition of ARCO and managing the integration of its operations into BP. Prior to his current position, he was Chief Executive of BP Chemicals from 2000 to 2002.

  • Andy Inglis, Chief Executive of Exploration and Production

Andy is a member of the BP board of directors and a member of the BP executive management team. Andy joined BP Exploration in 1980, working on various North Sea projects. Following a series of commercial roles in exploration, he became chief of staff for BP Exploration in 1997. Later that year, he led BP’s activities in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and in 1999 became vice president of the US western gas business. In 2004, Andy was appointed an executive vice president and deputy chief executive of exploration and production. Andy succeeded Tony Hayward as chief executive of BP’s exploration and production business on 1 February 2007, and also became an executive director of the BP group.

  • Paul Anderson, Non-Executive Director

Paul Anderson was appointed a non-executive director of BP on 1 February 2010. He is a member of the chairman's and the safety, ethics and environment assurance committees. He is a non-executive director of BAE Systems PLC and of Spectra Energy Corp. He was formerly chief executive at BHP Billiton and Duke Energy where he also served as a nonexecutive director. Having previously been chief executive officer and managing director of BHP Limited and then BHP Billiton Limited and BHP Billiton Plc, he rejoined these latter boards in 2006 as a non-executive director, retiring on 31 January 2010.

Antony Burgmans was appointed a non-executive director of BP in 2004. He is a member of the chairman’s, the remuneration and the safety, ethics and environment assurance committees. He joined Unilever in 1972, holding a succession of marketing and sales posts including, from 1988 until 1991, the chairmanship of PT Unilever Indonesia. In 1991, he was appointed to the board of Unilever, becoming business group president, ice cream and frozen foods, Europe, in 1994, and chairman of Unilever’s Europe committee, co-ordinating its European activities. In 1998, he became vice chairman of Unilever NV and in 1999, chairman of Unilever NV and vice chairman of Unilever PLC. In 2005, he became non-executive chairman of Unilever NV and Unilever PLC until his retirement in 2007. Mr Burgmans is a member of the supervisory boards of Akzo Nobel NV, AEGON NV and SHV Holdings NV.

  • Cynthia Caroll, Non-Executive Director

Cynthia Carroll was appointed a non-executive director of BP in 2007. She is a member of the chairman’s and the safety, ethics and environment assurance committees. Mrs Carroll started her career with Amoco as a petroleum geologist in oil exploration. In 1989, she joined Alcan, and in 1991 became vice president/general manager of Alcan foil products. In 1996, she was appointed managing director of Aughinish Alumina Limited, a subsidiary of Alcan Aluminium Limited, in Ireland. In 1998, she became president of bauxite, alumina and specialty chemicals and in 2002 was appointed president and chief executive officer of Alcan’s primary metals group and an officer of Alcan, Inc. in Montreal, Canada. Mrs Carroll was appointed as chief executive of Anglo American plc, the global mining group, in 2007. She is a director of Anglo Platinum Limited and De Beers s.a.

  • Sir William Castell, Non-Executive Director

Sir William Castell was appointed a non-executive director of BP in 2006. He is the senior independent director and is a member of the chairman’s and the nomination committees and chairman of the safety, ethics and environment assurance committee. Sir William spent his early career with the Wellcome Foundation, holding various positions. In 1989, he joined Amersham plc as chief executive. Following Amersham’s acquisition by General Electric in 2004, Sir William became president and chief executive officer of GE Healthcare, and a vice chairman and a director of the General Electric Company. He retired from GE Healthcare in 2006. Sir William remains a director of the General Electric Company. He was appointed as a member of the board of governors of the Wellcome Trust in 2006, subsequently becoming its chairman. Sir William was knighted in 2000. In 2004, he received the honour Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order.

  • George David, Non-Executive Director

George David was appointed as a non-executive director of BP on 11 February 2008. Mr David began his career in The Boston Consulting Group before joining the Otis Elevator Company in 1975. He held various roles in Otis and later in United Technologies Corporation (UTC), following Otis’s merger with UTC in 1977. Mr David is vice-chairman of the Peterson Institute for International Economics and was previously a non-executive director of Citigroup.

Ian Davis joined the board as a non-executive director of BP on 2 April 2010. He is a member of the chairman's, the remuneration and the audit committees. Mr Davis spent his early career at Bowater, moving to McKinsey & Company in 1979. He was managing partner of McKinsey’s practice in the UK and Ireland from 1996 to 2003. In 2003, he was appointed as chairman and worldwide managing director of McKinsey serving in this capacity until 2009. During his career with McKinsey, Mr Davis has served as a consultant on a range of global organizations across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. He will be retiring as senior partner of McKinsey & Company in July 2010. He is a member of the Mayor of Beijing International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council, and is an advisory director of the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre.

  • Douglas J Flint, Non-Executive Director

Douglas Flint is Group Finance Director of HSBC Holdings plc and a Director of HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad. He is a non executive director of BP plc. In June 2006 he was honoured with a CBE (Commander Of The British Empire) by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of his services to the finance industry. Mr Flint was Chairman of the Financial Reporting Council’s review of the Turnbull Guidance on Internal Control between 2004-2005 and served on the Accounting Standards Board and the Advisory Council of the International Accounting Standards Board from 2001-2004.

  • Dr. DeAnne Julius, Non-Executive Director

DeAnne Julius began her career as a project economist with the World Bank in Washington. From 1986 until 1997, she held a succession of posts, including chief economist at British Airways and Royal Dutch Shell Group. From 1997 to 2001, she was an independent member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England. She is chairman of the Royal Institute of International Affairs and a non-executive director of Lloyds TSB Group PLC, Roche Holdings SA and Serco Group plc.

  • Other Key PR Personnel

Linda Bartman is BP's marketing communications director, with responsibility for "for 360 communications plans directed to consumers, in addition to b-to-b [business-to-business] and b-to-c [business-to-consumer] strategy for promoting the BP brand to 10,500 retail sites." Bartman launched BP's first lifestyle campaign, "Younger for Longer," in 2008. The campaign used "older" athletes to promote BP's "Invigorate" gas additive. "It's about creating relevance for the consumer," Bartman explained. "More than that, it's about explaining the [product] experience, when consumers already incorporate it into a routine and [later] don't think about it." [45]

David Jackson was appointed company secretary in 2003. A solicitor, he is a director of BP Pension Trustees Limited, and a member of the Listing Authorities Advisory Committee.

Former Board and Staff

  • Peter D. Sutherland, former Chairman

Peter D. Sutherland served as chairman from 1997-2009, and was succeeded by Carl-Henric Svanberg on January 1, 2010. Mr. Sutherland KCMG serves as Managing Director of Goldman Sachs International. Mr. Sutherland served as Director General of GATT and Group Secretary and General Counsel of World Trade Organization from 1993 to 1995. He is a former Attorney General of Ireland and also served as European Commissioner from 1985 to 1989, responsible for competition policy. He serves as Chairman of British Petroleum, BP Amoco PLC and United Kingdom. He has also been a Independent Non Executive Director of National Westminster Bank PLC and its subsidiary, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, since January 2001. He serves as a Non-Executive Director of Foundation of the World Economic Forum. He serves as a Director of Goldman Sachs International and Member of International Advisory Board and Joint Advisory Council of Allianz AG. He served as a Director of LM Ericsson Telephone Co (formerly, Ericsson LM Telephone Co.) since 1996, Ericsson SPA since 1996 and Investor AB since 1995. He served as a Member of International Advisory Board of CNOOC Ltd. since March 20, 2003.

  • Erroll B. Davis, Jr, former Director

Erroll B. Davis is Chancellor of the University System of Georgia. Davis, who took office on February 6, 2006, had served as chairman of the board of Alliant Energy Corporation -- an energy holding company with $8.3 billion in total assets and annual operating revenues of $3 billion -- since 2000. Davis retired from his dual roles as president and CEO in July 2005, and retained the chairman’s post until his move to the University System.

  • Sir Tom McKillop, former Director

Sir Tom McKillop was appointed a non-executive director of BP in 2004. Following the demerger of Zeneca Group PLC from ICI PLC, in 1994 he became chief executive officer of Zeneca Pharmaceuticals and, in 1996, he was appointed to the board of Zeneca Group PLC as an executive director. Sir Tom was chief executive of AstraZeneca PLC from the merger of Astra AB and Zeneca Group PLC in 1999 until 2005. Sir Tom is chairman of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc and was a non-executive director of Lloyds TSB Group PLC until 2004. Sir Tom was knighted in 2002.

Major Litigation

May 2008: Oil Firms to Pay $423 million to settle water lawsuit.
BP, along with other oil companies, is going to pay to settle lawsuit brought by hundreds of public water suppliers. [46]

2006: Alaska Prudhoe Bay Oil Spill cases The U.S. Department of Justice sued BP on behalf of the EPA on March 31, 2009, seeking millions of dollars in fines for alleged water and air pollution violations and failure to meet deadlines in a corrective action order from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.[47] BP also currently faces a civil suit brought on by the state of Alaska. Id.[48] The criminal charges against BP for the Prudhoe oil spill was settled by a plea deal in late 2007; BP was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay $20 million in penalties. Id.[49]

2005: Texas Refinery Explosion Lawsuits The explosion at the Texas Refinery plant in Texas City led to hundreds of lawsuits and over a thousand settlements.[50] BP set aside at least $2 billion in compensation payouts, repairs, and lost profits. Id.[51] One of the must public cases was the lawsuit brought by the daughter of two plant workers who both died in the Texas Refinery explosion; Eva Rowe's suit was settled for an undisclosed amount and $32 million dollars in donations for health care, training, and safety regulation.[52]

1993-1995: Hazardous Substance Crime BP Exploration (Alaska), one of BP's U.S. subsidiaries, pleaded guilty to dumping hazardous waste on Alaska's North Slope on September 23, 1999.[53] BP agreed to pay $22 million dollars to resolve the criminal case as well as related civil claims. Id.[54]

BP's Greenwashing and Recent Rebranding

Edmund John Philip Browne became group chief executive in 1995. The following year, to the surprise of many environmentalists and oil industry analysts, BP resigned from the Global Climate Coalition, which ridiculed the science pointing to human induced climate change and sought to undermine the Kyoto treaty negotiations. BP hired Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide to handle a massive $200 million public relations and advertising campaign. This campaign introduced a new logo and slogan as well as a new attitude. The re-branding - undertaken in the wake of major controversies in Europe over Shell's role in Nigeria and its ill-fated attempt to dump the disused Brent Spar oil platform in the ocean - was aimed at differentiating BP from its rivals. BP also sought to cultivate 'moderate' environmental groups in a series of 'partnerships' with groups like the National Wildlife Federation. [6] (See the BP and the National Wildlife Federation case study). Despite their corporate rebranding, BP failed to change many of their underlying activities. An clear example of this was when a Californian air quality regulatory agency sued BP for $319 million over what it alleged were thousands of violations of emissions standards at its Carson oil refinery in the port of Los Angeles in March 2003. [7] For more, see BP and Greenwashing

BP's Campaign to Exploit Protected Areas

Despite BP's new campaign projecting their new environmentally conscious attitude, they backed the Bush administration's move to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil drilling. BP, also continues to explore for oil in environmentally sensitive areas such as the Atlantic Frontier, the foothills of the Andes and Alaska. [8]. For more, see BP's Campaign to Exploit Protected Areas.

BP's Labor Policies

March 2005: “Pumping Poverty- Britain’s Department for International Development and the Oil Industry”
The author discusses the problems with BP’s Ocensa pipeline, especially the fact that is protected by a designated army that is financed through a $1 per barrel “war tax”. [9]

April 2004: Looking at the Principles Behind the Practices: BP Operations in Casanare Department, Colombia
This report synthesizes recurring observations into five thematic principles of operation: 1. being part of the community is fundamental to successful operation in conflict contexts; 2. political and economic leverage should go beyond mitigating negative impacts; 3. “win-win” options is key for both the company and the local communities; 4. sustainable living conditions for when the company leaves, must be created early in operations; 5. stakeholder focused management systems are the key to the business’ success. [10]

For information regarding their human rights policies, see BP's Human Rights Record

BP's future projects: coalbed methane in China

On July 14, 2010, China National Petroleum Corporation's PetroChina Co., the nation’s largest oil producer, announced it is working with BP to assess a “huge” coal- bed methane deposit in the northwestern province of Xinjiang, as companies intensify the search for unconventional energy. Tuha Oilfield Co., a unit of PetroChina, and BP’s technical experts have carried out initial studies of the geological conditions at the Shaerhu block and completed preparatory work. Coal-bed methane, gas in shale, and tight gas held between rocks are collectively known as unconventional gas resources. PetroChina plans to accelerate production of gas found on the surface of coal in the next decade to meet domestic demand, and annual output may exceed 10 billion cubic meters by 2020, compared with a projected 4 billion cubic meters by 2015. The work on the coal-seam gas deposit in the Tuha area is part of a “new stage of cooperation” between the companies on coal-bed methane: PetroChina said it would welcome cooperation with BP and has contacted the company to see if there was anything they could help with following the oil "spill" in the Gulf of Mexico.[55]

BP Sells coalbed methane development project

In July, 2010 British Petroleum (BP) sold its natural gas and coalbed methane business in Western Canada to Apache Corporation as part of a $7 billion deal to raise funds for the company's Gulf of Mexico oil spill costs. The sale marked the end of what was once the country's dominant gas producer. BP sold its planned Mist Mountain coalbed methane development and the $1.34 billion Noel project, which is expected to produce up to 130 million cubic feet a day within this decade.[56]

Contact information

http://www.bp.com/images/bp-logo.gif BP p.l.c.
1 St James's Square
Tel +44 (0)20 7496 4000
Fax +44 (0)20 7496 4630

BP Exploration Company (Colombia) Ltd.
Carrera 9A No. 99 – 02, 9th Floor
Bogotá, Colombia
Tel: +571-628-4000 or +571-618-2777
Fax: +571-611-1127 or +571-628-4077

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


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  2. American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Sponsors, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 4, 2011
  3. American Legislative Exchange Council, Sponsorship Opportunities at ALEC's Annual Meeting, organizational website, 2010, accessed August 4, 2011
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External articles