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Third largest oil company in the world, by sales (behind Exxon Mobile and Royal Dutch Shell; in 2009, these were $246.1 billion.

BP is the largest oil and gas producer in the US.

Lessor of Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. On 20 April 2010, a fire and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon killed eleven crew members and was followed by a blowout, during which perhaps four million barrels of crude oil were poured into the ecologically sensitive area.

Company was founded in 1909 by William Knox D'Arcy as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC), and used its ties with the hapless Qejar Dynasty ruling Iran.

In 1925, Reza Khan (formerly an employee of APOC) had himself proclaimed Shah; his ascendancy from commoner to emperor was stimulated by Iran popular anger at the way APOC was pumping billions of pounds from Iran's land to the Exchequer of the UK, while a ridiculously small amount went to Iran itself. Shah Reza promised to revise the agreement with APOC, but after 7 years of negotiating with the company, got nothing more than a name change (to Anglo-Iranian).

In 1951, Prime Minister Muhammad Mussadegh nationalize the company's assets in Iran. On behalf of AIOC, MI-5 and the CIA staged a coup d'etat that ousted the democratically elected Prime Minister in favor of absolute dictatorship by the Shah (1953).
BP, p.l.c. chief executive Tony Hayward took a day off Saturday to see his 52-foot yacht "Bob" compete in a glitzy race off England's shore, a leisure trip that further infuriated residents of the oil-stained Gulf Coast.

{AP Newswire, 19 June 2010}
by Primus Intra Pares July 16, 2010
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