Case Analysis – BP America, Inc.:
The Prudhoe Bay Oil Spill and a Commitment to “Being Green”
Michelle L. Staton
The Angelo-Persian Oil Company was formed in 1909 by a wealthy Englishman named William Knox D’Arcy. It did not operate under the British Petroleum (BP) name until 1954. In early 1959, BP discovered hydrocarbons under the North Sea and Alaska, and found the West Sole gas field in 1965 which was the first oil exploration success in British waters. In 1969, BP discovered major oil deposits in Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope of Alaska. The refining and marketing of the Prudhoe Bay oil fields was handled by Standard Oil Company of Ohio, which also took over BP’s leases at Prudhoe Bay in exchange for 25% of Standard Oil’s equity. The North Alaskan oil supply was made available through the 800 miles of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System in 1977. The British Petroleum Company has diversified its oil interests outside of the Middle East, which has allowed the company to be able to produce, refine and supply oil to regardless of any issues around the world impacting oil production. In fact, BP has shifted away from the Middle East and is exploring untapped areas such as Columbia, the republics of the former Soviet Union, and the Gulf of Mexico. BP has continuously focused on protecting the environment and has developed innovative solutions in the field of alternative energy. The company has long been known for their health, safety and environmental standards in their operating practices and had several notable achievements in social responsibility and environmental protection. In 2005, the company launched a new effort to generate and market low-carbon power from solar, wind, hydrogen and natural gas sources; supplied affordable liquefied petroleum gas in South Africa and India as a way to create local jobs and provide products to low-income families; improved pipeline gas delivery to Georgia and Turkey where the...
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