BP Didn't Change the Way They Run Their Business, Just Their Marketing Plan
Tigers Don’t Change Their Stripes
By Scott Rohter, January 2011
In 2000, BP purchased American owned Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO). BP used to stand for British Petroleum. Then several years ago the company changed its name from British Petroleum to “Beyond Petroleum” in order to avoid the obvious reference to its foreign ownership, but only the name was changed. The people and their business plan were still the same! (Actually the name really didn’t change, it was only a clever marketing ploy.) Their business plan could easily be seen at work in the Alaskan oil fields and on the Trans Alaskan Pipeline, where they were cited with numerous safety violations over the years as the majority owners of the pipeline.
BP could just as easily have stood for “Budget Petroleum” or “Bargain Petroleum.” Their business model was simple; to undercut all of their competitors! They sold gas cheaper than anyone else and they were able to do this by cutting costs everywhere, especially on critical maintenance and safety standards on their infrastructure. Then after the Deep Water Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, BP regardless of whatever the letters stood for, was literally in a world of financial trouble!
Shortly before the Gulf oil spill, the local ARCO gas station had changed the colors and the corporate logo from the old blue and red of ARCO to the green and yellow colors of BP. Everything related to BP was emphasized and everything relating to ARCO was de-emphasized. They gave the whole station a bright new green paint job and the BP logo, whatever it meant, was prominently displayed on the gas pumps and on the signage. Then, after the Gulf oil spill, the painting crew was back again painting over the green and yellow colors of BP with the old familiar blue and red of ARCO once again. BP signs were taken down and the old ARCO signs were put back up again. Forgive me for being just a little bit confused. Is this the same gas or what? I know it’s the cheapest gas! That’s why I’ve been buying it here, but I didn’t realize why it was the cheapest gas until after the Gulf oil spill and all of the facts started coming out. At that point I didn’t want to stop buying gas there partly because I wanted to make sure that BP would at least be able to pay for the damages that they caused in the Gulf of Mexico. At least that’s how I comforted myself, but wait a doggone minute! They are spending millions of dollars on advertising and remodeling and changing the company colors back and forth and that isn’t helping anyone or anything in the Gulf states or in the Gulf of Mexico!
I’m starting to lose my patience with BP and beginning to question the wisdom of my loyalty. Yesterday I heard that BP sold a 5% stake in the company to the Soviet Union, pardon me, I mean Russia. I guess that BP now stands for Bolshevik Petroleum! In return for the 5% stake in BP, the “Ruskies” gave the majority owners of BP, the British, the rights to drill for oil in the Russian Arctic. Hold on there! Something doesn’t sound right to me. You mean that we Americans are empowering the British to drill for oil in Russia to enrich the British AND THE RUSSIANS at the expense of the American residents of the Gulf states? I don’t believe it! I could stand to give my money to the British, even after the Gulf oil spill, because I wanted BP to be able to pay for the oil clean-up in the Gulf of Mexico, but I am not going to buy my gas from the Russians! I see what happens to Europeans who buy their gas from the Russians. They shut down the pipeline in the middle of winter and make the Europeans freeze their hineys off! I won’t do it! It’s bad enough that the United States is in debt up to our eyebrows to one communist country, China. Now we are going to go into hock to another communist country? Well, not with my help! I will not buy my gas from the Russians! How about you?You don’t actually think that Russia is anything other than a communist country do you? BP changed their name (actually they just changed their marketing plan) not the way they run their business! Looking back, at all of those Alaskan Pipeline safety violations, they were a pretty good indicator of what was eventually going to happen in the Gulf of Mexico. Tigers don’t change their stripes. Neither did BP, and neither do communists! Let’s all buy our gas from somewhere else!
"A journalist has no better friend than the truth." - Scott Rohter