Just how British is BP?

Ben Chu
alg oil bird1 300x225 Just how British is BP?

"Darn British oil"

A “great British company” is under attack by a vengeful American President. To arms, patriots, cry  British rightwingers.

But just how British is BP? Obviously it’s listed in London. And it’s got a British CEO. But BP employs 23,000 people in the US, compared to 10,000 UK workers. Around 40 per cent of BP’s shares are held in the UK. But around the same proportion is held in the US. And a glance at BP’s 2009 report (p29)shows that 26 per cent of BP’s crude oil production comes from the US (665,000 barrels a day out of 2,535,000 globally). A similar proportion of BP’s natural gas comes from the US. And 18 per cent of its oil is sold in the US too. And BP’s entire US operation is largely an inheritance from the 1998 merger with Amoco under Lord Browne.

So we have a company with a large number of American workers, a large number of American owners, which sells American oil and gas to American customers, which is being attacked by an American president for polluting the American coastline. So clearly time for David Cameron to wrap himself in the union flag and go in to battle for Britain then.

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