BP is also BO (Big Oil). It is the world's #3 publicly traded integrated oil concern, behind Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell. BP explores for oil and gas in 30 countries with proved reserves of 17 billion barrels of oil equivalent. It's the largest oil and gas producer in the US and a top refiner, with 15 plants processing more than 2 million barrels of crude oil per day; it is also a major producer of petrochemicals. BP operates about 20,000 BP Connect gas stations worldwide. The company took a major hit in 2010 when a Gulf of Mexico oil rig exploded and killed 11 workers. Millions of gallons of crude spilled into the Gulf and BP was forced to set aside $20 billion to pay for related damages in 2011 and 2012.
The spill developed into a major political, economic, and public relations crisis for the company as it struggled to cap the leaking well, clean up the massive spill, and mollify Gulf Coast communities, which saw their fishing industry decimated and their coastlines inundated by oil. To address the growing crisis, in 2010 the company established an escrow account of $20 billion, managed by a third party, to reimburse claims from people and businesses financially damaged by the oil spill. (It settled with individual and business plaintiffs for $7.8 billion in 2012, but still faced federal, state, and local government charges). In a plea deal with the US government, in 2012 BP plead guilty to criminal misconduct (12 felony counts) and in 2013 agreed to pay $4.5 billion in damages. The company has paid a total of about $40 billion related to the spill.
Revenue was basically flat while profit plummeted 55% as the company paid off charges related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
After the costly Gulf spill, BP embarked on a "shrink to grow" strategy (set to run through 2014) of selling older oilfields around the world to generate cash for settlements and simplify its upstream operations. All told, the company has sold about $37 billion in assets. Completed divestitures include one of the largest transactions in the Gulf of Mexico -- BP's sale of a number of oil and gas fields in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico region to Plains Exploration & Production for $5.55 billion in November 2012. In July it sold assets in Canada, Egypt, and the Permian Basin in the US to fellow explorer Apache for about $7 billion. The deal included BP receiving a $5 billion cash advance. In 2011 BP sold its Colombian assets to Talisman Energy and Ecopetrol for $1.9 billion and properties in Venezuela and Vietnam to its Russian joint venture TNK-BP for $1.8 billion.
TNK-BP was BP's longtime drilling venture with several Russian partners. After years of feuding with those partners, in 2013 BP sold that business to Russian state oil company Rosneft as part of a complex package of deals worth a whopping $55 billion. The transaction gave BP a nearly 20% stake in Rosneft and about $12.3 billion in cash, allowing it to pursue offshore drilling opportunities in the Arctic Ocean and settle billions of dollars in US Gulf spill penalties. Several BP competitors, Exxon Mobil, Italy's Eni, and Norway's Statoil, already have Russian Arctic drilling deals.
On the renewables side of the business, since 2006 BP has invested $7 billion (including $1.3 billion in 2009) to develop wind, solar, and other green energy sources.