08 June 2010

BP: A Habitual Offender

DAY ONE - The Many Faces of BP

If BP were a person (hold that thought just a few minutes) it would be considered a career offender and incarcerated for life in a Super Max prison somewhere out in a desert.  And since SOTUS has ruled that, as far as political contributions go, corporation have the same privileges as do "people", let's present the argument for the declaration of BP as a "career offender".

First, let's get to know the history of, and, the various aliases used by this "habitual criminal" (legal definition provided)   

Anglo-Persian Oil Company, which morphed into the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company shortly after shelling out £5,000 to future Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, to get the British government to grant them a monopoly on Iranian oil reserves.

After World War II the Iranians nationalized their oil industry (National Iranian Oil Company) and after a series of International Court of Justice legal maneuvers failed,  the American CIA, authorized by President Eisenhower, conducted a coup which placed the Shah on the Peacock Throne.  The Shah quickly abolished the Iranian constitution,  and shortly thereafter AIOC resumed operations in Iran as part of an international consortium in which it was limited to a 40% share.

In 1954 AIOC renamed itself and became British Petroleum Company (BP).  In 1959 the renamed company expanded its operations in the Middle-East to include Alaska and later, in 1965, became the first to strike oil in the North Sea.  In 1978 British Petroleum took over Standard Oil of Ohio (Sohio) while still operating in Iran and elsewhere.  Virtually unfazed by the 1979 Iranian Revolution, it cut a deal with Ayatollah Khoumeini and his followers and came out with new contrast giving 90% to Britsih Petroleum and 10% to Khoumeini and his "followers".

During the 1980s and 1990s BP initiated and aggressive campaign of take-over and fierce expansion which included, the British governments holdings in BP, Britoil and the remaining publicly traded shares of Sohio, some Gulf Oil stations and a refinery in the American Southeast, Amoco, Arco, and Burmah-Castro.

In 2000, after solidifying its gains, British Petroleum assumed yet another identity, BP, with a tagline of Beyond Petroleum.  Since 2001, BP has operated throughout America under various identities including; BP, Amoco, and Arco.  In 2004, it shifted its petrochemical business into an entity called Innovene but then quickly sold it for $9-billion to a privately held British company.

Currently, as part of its efforts to find and exploit new reserves, BP, in liaison with three Russian oil-oligarchs, has gained  50% ownership of TNK-BP in the former Soviet Union.

Today, throughout the world BP wears more than a dozen (retail) faces: BP, ampm, Aral, Arco, BP Travel Centre, BP Connect, BP Express, BP Shop, BP2go, Castrol, Air Bp & BP Shipping.

Coming Tomorrow:  Death, Destruction, Price Manipulation

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