A key overview of BP as a company and its Gulf of Mexico accident


Sep. 10 2014, Updated 2:51 p.m. ET


BP PLC (BP) is one of the world’s largest integrated oil and gas companies. Its operations spread across 80 countries around the world, including Angola, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Trinidad, the UAE, the UK, and the U.S.

The company is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom.

BP is listed on NYSE and trades as an ADR (American Depository Receipt). An ADR represents a specified number of shares, or one share, in a foreign stock that trades on a U.S. exchange. Via ADRs, you can buy shares in a foreign company while realizing any dividends and capital gains in U.S. dollars. 

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  • BP’s upstream segment engages in oil and natural gas exploration, development, and production.
  • BP’s midstream operation transports, stores and processes, and markets natural gas, liquefied natural gas (or LNG), and power and natural gas liquids (or NGLs). It also owns and manages export terminals.
  • The company’s downstream segment refines, manufactures, and trades crude oil, petroleum, petrochemicals products, and olefins and derivatives. This segment also sells refined petroleum products like gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, and liquefied petroleum gas (or LPG).

The company provides its services to wholesale and retail customers. The latter segment offers lubricants under the Castrol, BP, and Aral brand names.

To date, BP’s market capitalization is ~139 billion. It has an enterprise value of ~$166 billion. Its last-12-months revenue is ~$376 billion and its EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) is ~$32 billion.

BP’s U.S. operations accounted for 34% of its total revenues in 2013.

A new court order on BP’s Gulf of Mexico fiasco

BP’s U.S. offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico underwent a major crisis in 2010. A fire broke out on one of the rigs. Recently, a U.S. federal court judge gave a ruling on the matter. This ruling could have a severe effect on BP. To learn more, read the following parts of this series.

Key stocks and ETFs

BP is one of the largest integrated energy upstream and downstream operators in the world. Other major energy companies with operations around the world include Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.B), Chevron Corporation (CVX), and Exxon Mobil XOM) . Some of these companies are components of the Energy Sector Select SPDR ETF (XLE).


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