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BP dates back to 1908, originally know as Anglo-Persian Oil Company when oil was discovered beneath the sands of Persia.
By 1914 the Anglo-Persian project was nearly bankrupt for the second time in its short history, the company had plenty of oil but no one to sell it to. It was Winston Churchill who turned things around, convincing parliament that the British-owned Anglo-Persian Oil Company, could protect British interests, and so the UK government became a major shareholder in the company.
Over the next decade, gas and electricity would largely replace kerosene for home heating, gasoline-fuelled delivery vehicles were in competition with the railways for freight, and the era of the automobile would truly begin. These social changes allowed Anglo-Persian to expand its sales both in Britain and in mainland Europe.
With cars flooding the streets throughout the 1920's and 30's BP-labelled gasoline pumps appeared around Britain. With just 69 pumps in 1921, by 1925 there were over 6,000.
In 1954, the company changed its name to The British Petroleum Company. In 1969 offshore exploration had moved from the English Channel into the North Sea, where crews found the Forties field off the coast of Scotland, which could produce 400,000 barrels of crude oil a day.
Today BP has operations around the world, in Australia around 7000 people work for the company, BP also have a network of some 1300 service stations. BP is involved in a whole range of activities, such as exploring natural gas and crude oil resources and also refine and market petroleum products and produce lubricants.
The company has crude oil refineries at Kwinana in Western Australia and Bulwer Island in Queensland. Exploration and production activities include BP’s interests in the giant North West Shelf Venture as well as the proposed Browse LNG Project and other gas fields at various stages of development off the WA coast. The company has also recently begun exploration activity in the Great Australian Bight.
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