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Marketing and trading

One of the biggest oil and gas companies operating in the world today is British Petroleum (BP). As of today, it has established its presence in more than 100 countries around the world and still is growing. Basically, the company of BP operates through three different business segments, namely: exploration and production; refining and marketing; and gas, power and renewables (Datamonitor, 2007). By operating in these three sectors, the company is able to provide fuel for tranportation, retail brands and energy for heat and light.

The operation of exploration and production includes the exloration for oil and natural gas. This operation includes also field development and production. The operation in this segment also takes care of the management of crude oil and natural gas pipelines, processing and export terminals, and liquefied natural gas processing facilities. This segment of BP has an ongoing interest in 25 countries around the world, which includes such countries as “US, the UK, Norway, Canada, South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific” (Datamonitor, 2007).

Meanwhile, the segment of the company for refining and marketing segment handles the responsibility for the supply and trading, refining, maketing and tranportation of the products of the company like crude oil

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and petroleum products to the firm’s wholesale and retail customers. This segment has four areas of business: “regifing, retail, lubricants and business to business marketing” (Datamonitor, 2007). Generally speaking, the retail network of BP is highly concentrated in Europe and the United States.

Though the company has also firmly established its presence Australasia, Southeast Asia and Southern Africa. On the other hand, the company’s gas, power renewables segment is divided into four main divisions. These are the marketing and trading, natural gas liquids, new market development and solar and renewables. Overall, the natural gas liquids business is the one dealing with the processing, fractionation and marketing of ethane, propane, butanes and other forms products extracted from natural gas. This activity involve the development of opportunities to corner sales in the gas market.

Meanwhile, the solar and renewables department of the operation of the company deals with the development, production, and marketing of solar panels, and also the development of wind farms on some company sites. All and all, BP is one of the world’s biggest companies involved in energy that provides its customers with “fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services and petrochemicals products for everyday items” (“BP at a glance,” n. d. ). Background British Petroleum’s history can be traced back to 1901 when explorer William Know went to Persia to explore oil.

Yet the discovery of the commercial oil only came during 1908. As the year went on the company grew and expanded into North America, particularly Alaska, South America, Africa and Europe. During the post-war reconstruction period, the company still continued to experience prosperity and its Abadan refinery was considered to the be largest in the world. During the 40s demand for crude oil worked for the company as the company helped the opening of Middle-East market (Ferrier and Bamberg, 1982). The oil crisis in the 1970s forced the company to a renewed expansion in oil exploration that had gone as far as the North Sea and Alaska.

Furthermore, it also pushed the company to diversification of its energy products such as coal, gas and solar sources. This crisis in oil during the 1970s plus the recession in the 1980s brought the company to a major reorganization. One of the solutions that the management saw then was the further diversitification leading the company to enter the nutrition industry in particular. As part of this venture, British Petroleum acquired Purina Mills and later on called the BP Nutrition (Datamonitor, 2007).

What BP Nutrition did for the company was the consolidation of BP’s products into consumer household’s ever day to day activities like cleaning and personal care products. Two major acquistion in the 80s of major competitor, meanwhile, consolidated the niche of the company in the energy, particularly the oil industry. In 1987 the company acquired Standard oil which led to the formation of BP America and in 1988 the company bought Britoil which strenghtened the company’s position in the oil market in the North Sea.

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