BP is one of Britain’s biggest companies and one of the world’s largest oil and petrochemicals groups.
BP owes its origin to one man, William Knox D’Arcy, who, shortly after the turn of the century, invested time, money and labour in the belief that worthwhile deposits of oil could be found in Persia (now known as Iran). In the company’s first six decades, its prime focus lay in the Middle East. But from the late 1960s the centre of gravity shifted westwards, towards the USA and Britain itself. However, the BP of today is an international company, having operations in over 70 countries. Its key strengths are in oil and gas exploration and production; the refining, marketing and supply of petroleum products; and the manufacturing and marketing of chemicals. It supports all its businesses with high quality research and technology. © 2006 BP