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Company > BP PLC: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2024

BP PLC: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2024

Published: Jan 18, 2024

Inside This Article


    In this comprehensive blog post, we delve into the intricate world of BP PLC as we stand at the threshold of 2024. We will explore BP's robust business model that has allowed it to remain a titan in the energy sector, despite the industry's volatility. Furthermore, we'll conduct a detailed SWOT analysis to uncover the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing BP in the current market. Finally, we'll compare BP with its competitors, highlighting how the company stacks up against its rivals in terms of innovation, sustainability efforts, and market share. Join us as we unpack the complexities and challenges that BP PLC navigates as it strides towards a sustainable and profitable future.

    What You Will Learn

    • Ownership and Vision of BP PLC: Discover who owns BP PLC and delve into the company's mission statement, understanding the guiding principles and objectives that drive its operations.
    • Revenue Generation and Business Strategy: Learn how BP PLC makes money through an in-depth explanation of its Business Model Canvas, providing insights into its operational, financial, and customer relationship strategies.
    • Competitive Landscape and Strategic Analysis: Identify BP PLC's main competitors and explore a comprehensive SWOT analysis to grasp the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the dynamic energy sector.

    Who owns BP PLC?

    Who owns BP PLC?

    Ownership of BP PLC, one of the world's leading oil and gas companies, is a topic of considerable interest to investors, environmental activists, and policy makers alike. Understanding who owns BP is crucial for assessing its business strategies, environmental policies, and potential influence on global energy markets.

    Institutional and Individual Shareholders

    BP PLC is publicly traded on stock exchanges in London and New York, making its ownership widespread among institutional and individual investors. Institutional shareholders, including pension funds, mutual funds, and insurance companies, hold the majority of BP's shares. These entities often invest in BP as part of a diversified portfolio, seeking to capitalize on the company's financial performance and dividend payments. Vanguard Group Inc., BlackRock Inc., and State Street Corporation are among the largest institutional investors in BP, collectively owning a significant percentage of the company's shares.

    Individual shareholders, ranging from small-scale investors to high-net-worth individuals, also own a portion of BP. These investors may hold BP shares directly or through investment vehicles like mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The distribution of BP's shares among individual investors is broad, reflecting the company's global presence and appeal to investors seeking exposure to the energy sector.

    Government Stakeholders

    While direct government ownership in BP is minimal, several government-backed investment funds, particularly those from oil-rich countries, have stakes in the company. These investments are typically made through sovereign wealth funds, which manage a country's assets for future generations. The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global and the Qatar Investment Authority are examples of such entities that have invested in BP, albeit their shares represent a smaller fraction of the company's total ownership compared to institutional and individual investors.

    Employee Share Ownership

    BP also encourages its employees to become shareholders through various share ownership programs. These schemes aim to align the interests of employees with those of the company and its broader shareholder base, fostering a culture of ownership and investment in BP's long-term success. Employee ownership is seen as a way to motivate and retain talent, as well as to reinforce the commitment of BP's workforce to its corporate goals and values.


    The ownership of BP PLC is diverse, spanning institutional investors, individual shareholders, government entities, and employees. This wide-ranging shareholder base reflects BP's status as a global corporation with a significant impact on the energy sector and financial markets. Understanding the composition of BP's ownership is essential for stakeholders interested in the company's governance, environmental practices, and role in the transition to a more sustainable energy future.

    What is the mission statement of BP PLC?

    What is the mission statement of BP PLC?

    BP PLC, formerly known as British Petroleum, is one of the world's leading integrated oil and gas companies. As it navigates the complex landscape of the 21st century, characterized by demands for sustainable and environmentally friendly energy solutions, BP has articulated a mission statement that reflects both its legacy and its forward-looking aspirations.

    BP's mission statement is centered around reimagining energy for people and our planet. The company aims to provide the world with cleaner energy solutions, striving to reduce emissions, improve its products, and create a more sustainable future. This mission is underpinned by BP's commitment to advancing low carbon and renewable energy technologies, as well as its focus on safety, respect, excellence, courage, and teamwork.

    In essence, BP's mission can be summarized as follows:

    "To reimagine energy for people and our planet. We aim to help the world reach net-zero and improve people's lives by reducing emissions, creating more sustainable energy solutions, and advancing our industry towards a safer and more environmentally friendly future."

    This mission statement reflects BP's acknowledgment of the critical challenges posed by climate change, as well as its responsibility as a major player in the energy sector to be part of the solution. By focusing on innovation, sustainability, and a commitment to reducing its environmental impact, BP is working towards a transition that meets the world's energy needs while also safeguarding the planet for future generations.

    How does BP PLC make money?

    BP PLC, one of the world's leading oil and gas companies, generates its revenue through a diversified business model that spans across various sectors within the energy industry. The company's operations can be broadly divided into three main areas: Upstream, Downstream, and Renewables. Each of these sectors plays a crucial role in BP's overall income generation strategy. Here's a closer look at how BP PLC makes money:

    Upstream Operations

    The Upstream segment is primarily concerned with the exploration and production of oil and natural gas. BP operates in several major oil and gas producing regions around the world, including the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and regions in the Middle East and Africa. This segment generates revenue by extracting crude oil and natural gas from the earth and selling these commodities on the global market. The profitability of the Upstream segment is closely tied to global oil and gas prices, which can fluctuate based on a variety of factors, including geopolitical events, supply and demand dynamics, and technological advancements.

    Downstream Operations

    BP's Downstream operations encompass the refining, marketing, and distribution of oil and petroleum products. This segment is responsible for transforming crude oil into a variety of finished products, such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and lubricants, which are then sold to consumers and businesses worldwide. The Downstream sector also includes BP's vast network of service stations, which serve millions of customers daily. In addition to fuel, these service stations often sell convenience goods, further contributing to BP's revenue. The Downstream segment benefits from economies of scale and operational efficiencies, which help to maximize profitability.

    Renewables and Low Carbon Energy Initiatives

    In response to the global shift towards cleaner energy sources, BP has been diversifying its portfolio to include renewable energy and low carbon technologies. This includes investments in wind power, solar energy, biofuels, and electric vehicle charging stations. BP's renewables segment is aimed at generating long-term sustainable income, in line with the company's ambition to become a net zero company by 2050 or sooner. While the renewables sector currently represents a smaller portion of BP's overall revenue compared to the Upstream and Downstream segments, it is expected to play a significantly larger role in the company's future income generation strategy as the world increasingly transitions towards cleaner energy sources.

    Overall, BP PLC makes money through a combination of traditional oil and gas operations and an expanding focus on renewable energy and low carbon technologies. By maintaining a diversified portfolio and adapting to changes in the global energy landscape, BP aims to ensure steady revenue streams and long-term profitability.

    BP PLC Business Model Canvas Explained

    Key Partners

    BP PLC's business model relies heavily on a network of key partners that are integral to its operations. These partners include joint ventures, suppliers, and collaborations with technology companies. Joint ventures, for instance, enable BP to access new markets and share risks and resources. Suppliers are crucial for the smooth operation of BP's value chain, providing everything from drilling equipment to IT services. Collaborations with technology companies help BP innovate and maintain a competitive edge, particularly in the development of cleaner energy solutions and digital transformation.

    Key Activities

    The key activities of BP revolve around the exploration and production of oil and natural gas, refining and marketing of petroleum products, and the development of renewable energy sources. Exploration and production are fundamental to BP's business, involving the search for natural resources and their extraction. Refining and marketing transform crude oil into usable products like gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, which are then distributed globally. Additionally, BP is increasingly focusing on renewable energy activities, such as wind power and biofuels, as part of its commitment to becoming a net-zero company by 2050.

    Key Resources

    BP's key resources include its vast reserves of oil and natural gas, its global network of refineries and petrol stations, and its technological innovations. The company's oil and gas reserves are its most critical assets, ensuring the longevity of its core business operations. The network of refineries and retail sites enables BP to process and distribute petroleum products efficiently. Technological resources, including advancements in drilling technology, renewable energy technologies, and digital capabilities, support BP's operational efficiency and sustainability goals.

    Value Propositions

    BP PLC offers several value propositions to its customers, including a reliable supply of energy, innovative and sustainable energy solutions, and a commitment to safety and environmental responsibility. By providing a consistent and secure supply of oil and natural gas, BP meets the critical energy needs of consumers and industries worldwide. Its investments in renewable energy and research into cleaner technologies appeal to environmentally conscious customers. Furthermore, BP's focus on safety and reducing its environmental impact enhances its reputation and satisfies regulatory requirements.

    Customer Relationships

    BP maintains its customer relationships through high-quality customer service, loyalty programs, and community engagement. The company's customer service initiatives aim to ensure satisfaction and resolve any issues promptly. Loyalty programs, particularly for retail petrol station customers, offer rewards and incentives for continued patronage. Through community engagement activities, BP demonstrates its commitment to social responsibility, building trust and goodwill among local communities and stakeholders.

    Customer Segments

    BP serves a wide range of customer segments, including individual consumers, industrial clients, and governments. Individual consumers use BP's petrol stations and purchase its petroleum products for personal vehicles. Industrial clients, such as airlines and shipping companies, rely on BP for fuel and lubricants. Governments may partner with BP for access to energy resources, infrastructure development, and expertise in energy management.


    BP's channels for reaching its customers include its network of petrol stations, its corporate website, and direct sales teams for industrial and government clients. The petrol stations are the most visible and accessible channel for individual consumers, offering fuel, convenience retailing, and services. The corporate website provides information on BP's products, services, and sustainability efforts, serving as a channel for both consumer education and business inquiries. Direct sales teams engage with industrial and government clients, offering tailored solutions and building long-term relationships.

    Cost Structure

    BP's cost structure is characterized by high operational costs, including exploration, production, refining, and distribution expenses. Additionally, significant investments in research and development for new energy technologies and in compliance with environmental regulations contribute to BP's costs. The company also incurs costs related to marketing and maintaining customer relationships. Despite these high costs, BP's efficient operations and strategic investments aim to ensure long-term profitability and sustainability.

    Revenue Streams

    BP generates revenue through the sale of oil, natural gas, and refined petroleum products. This includes revenues from its network of petrol stations worldwide and from the sale of products to industrial and government clients. Additionally, BP is developing revenue streams from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, and from innovative technologies in energy efficiency and storage. The diversification of revenue streams is part of BP's strategy to transition towards a more sustainable energy future while maintaining financial stability.

    Which companies are the competitors of BP PLC?

    BP PLC, one of the world's leading integrated oil and gas companies, operates in a highly competitive landscape. The company's main activities include exploring for and extracting crude oil and natural gas, refining, marketing, and distributing fuels and other products. Given the vast and dynamic nature of the energy sector, BP faces stiff competition from several major players. Below, we explore some of the key competitors of BP PLC.

    ExxonMobil Corporation

    ExxonMobil is arguably one of BP's most significant competitors. As one of the largest publicly traded oil and gas companies, ExxonMobil has a strong global presence. Its operations span across all aspects of the oil and gas industry, including exploration, production, refining, and marketing. With its extensive network of gas stations and innovative energy solutions, ExxonMobil stands as a formidable competitor in the energy sector.

    Royal Dutch Shell PLC

    Royal Dutch Shell, commonly known as Shell, is another global giant in the oil and gas industry that competes closely with BP. Shell's operations, similar to BP's, cover a wide spectrum of activities from exploration and production to refining and renewable energy. Shell has been particularly aggressive in its pursuit of renewable energy and sustainability projects, positioning itself as a leader in the transition towards cleaner energy sources.

    Chevron Corporation

    Chevron is an American multinational energy corporation that operates in more than 180 countries. It is involved in every aspect of the oil and gas industry, including hydrocarbon exploration and production; refining, marketing and transport; chemicals manufacturing and sales; and power generation. Chevron's extensive global operations and its focus on innovation and technology make it a substantial competitor to BP.

    TotalEnergies SE

    TotalEnergies, a French multinational integrated energy and petroleum company, has a diverse portfolio that encompasses the entire energy value chain, from crude oil and natural gas exploration and production to power generation, transportation, refining, petroleum product marketing, and international crude oil and product trading. TotalEnergies is actively expanding its presence in renewable energy and electricity sectors, which adds to its competitive edge against BP.

    Equinor ASA

    Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, is a Norwegian state-owned multinational energy company. While it may not have the same global footprint as ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, or TotalEnergies, Equinor is a leading innovator in offshore oil and gas production, particularly in harsh environments and deepwater areas. Furthermore, Equinor is investing heavily in renewable energy projects, including offshore wind farms, making it a noteworthy competitor in the evolving energy landscape.

    These companies, along with BP, form the backbone of the global oil and gas industry. They are not only competing in traditional energy markets but are also at the forefront of the transition towards more sustainable energy sources. The competition among these giants spurs innovation and drives the industry forward, shaping the future of global energy consumption and production.

    BP PLC SWOT Analysis


    BP PLC, one of the world's leading oil and gas companies, showcases several strengths that solidify its position in the global market. First and foremost, its extensive global presence allows BP to operate in almost every corner of the world, including major markets in the USA, Europe, Asia, and Africa. This international footprint not only diversifies its market risks but also provides it with a broad base of resources and opportunities.

    Another significant strength is BP's strong brand reputation and recognition. As a pioneer in the energy sector, BP has cultivated a brand associated with innovation, sustainability efforts, and a forward-thinking approach to energy solutions. This brand strength aids in customer loyalty and attracts potential investors.

    BP's commitment to research and development (R&D) further amplifies its position. The company invests heavily in R&D to improve its operational efficiency, develop cleaner energy solutions, and mitigate environmental impact. This focus on innovation ensures BP stays at the forefront of technological advancements in the energy sector.


    Despite its strengths, BP faces certain weaknesses that can impact its operational and financial performance. One of the primary concerns is the company's heavy reliance on fossil fuels, which, in the era of growing environmental awareness and regulation, poses a significant risk. This dependence makes BP vulnerable to fluctuating oil and gas prices and increasing pressure to transition to renewable energy sources.

    Moreover, BP's past environmental record, most notably the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, continues to haunt its reputation. The incident not only led to substantial financial losses due to fines and cleanup costs but also damaged the company's image among consumers and investors concerned about environmental sustainability.


    The shift towards renewable energy and sustainable practices presents BP with significant opportunities. By leveraging its R&D capabilities, BP has the potential to lead the transition to green energy. The company has already begun investing in alternative energy sources, such as wind, solar, and biofuels, which could open new revenue streams and reduce its carbon footprint.

    Additionally, the increasing demand for natural gas as a cleaner alternative to coal offers BP an opportunity to reshape its product portfolio. Natural gas, being the cleanest burning fossil fuel, positions BP favorably in markets looking to transition away from coal and oil.


    BP operates in a highly volatile industry, where geopolitical tensions, regulatory changes, and environmental policies can drastically affect operations. The push for stricter environmental regulations and the global commitment to the Paris Agreement pose threats to BP's traditional business model, potentially leading to increased operational costs and reduced demand for oil and gas.

    Competition from both traditional energy companies and new entrants focusing on renewable energy sources is another significant threat. As the industry shifts towards sustainability, BP must navigate the challenges of maintaining its market position while adapting to a changing energy landscape.

    In conclusion, BP's SWOT analysis reveals a complex landscape of strengths and weaknesses, coupled with both opportunities and threats. How BP navigates these factors will be crucial in determining its future success and sustainability in the evolving energy market.

    Key Takeaways

    • Ownership Structure of BP PLC: BP PLC, a global energy company, is publicly traded and owned by a diverse group of institutional and retail investors. The largest shareholders typically include major financial institutions and mutual funds.

    • Mission Statement and Purpose: BP PLC's mission statement focuses on delivering heat, light, and mobility products and services in ways that are economically, environmentally, and socially responsible. The company aims to transition to a lower carbon future, adapting its strategy and operations to combat climate change.

    • Revenue Generation Streams: BP PLC makes money through various segments including oil and gas exploration, production, refining, distribution, and marketing of products. Additionally, BP is diversifying its income sources by investing in renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and bioenergy.

    • Business Model Overview: The Business Model Canvas for BP PLC highlights its key partners (such as joint ventures in renewable energy), key activities (like exploration and production), customer segments (ranging from individual consumers to large industries), and value propositions (offering reliable energy solutions). It also outlines the company's cost structures and revenue streams, emphasizing the shift towards sustainable energy.

    • Competitive Landscape and SWOT Analysis: BP PLC faces competition from other major oil and gas companies like ExxonMobil, Shell, and Chevron. Its SWOT analysis reveals strengths in its global brand and diversified energy portfolio; opportunities in renewable energy investments; weaknesses in handling environmental issues; and threats from regulatory changes and market volatility. This analysis helps BP navigate its strategic direction amidst a competitive and changing energy landscape.


    In conclusion, BP PLC, a giant in the oil and gas industry, is a publicly-traded company with a diverse ownership structure that includes both institutional and retail investors. At its core, BP is driven by a mission to reimagine energy for people and our planet, striving to provide cleaner energy solutions while supporting global economic development and human progress. This mission is encapsulated in their operations, from exploration and production to refining, marketing, and the sale of energy products.

    BP PLC generates revenue through its integrated operations in the oil and gas industry, including the exploration, extraction, refining, transportation, and sale of oil and gas. The company has also been gradually diversifying into renewable energy sources, recognizing the global shift towards sustainable energy solutions. This strategic move is integral to its Business Model Canvas, which highlights BP's value propositions, customer segments, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships, and cost structure. It's a model that underscores BP's adaptability and its commitment to innovation and sustainability.

    In the competitive landscape, BP faces stiff competition from other giants such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and Total. Each of these companies brings its strengths to the table, challenging BP to continually innovate and improve its operations and offerings.

    The SWOT analysis of BP reveals a company that, despite its strengths in brand recognition, global reach, and substantial investments in renewable energy, must navigate weaknesses and threats, including environmental challenges and the volatile nature of the oil market. However, the opportunities for growth in renewable energy and sustainability initiatives present BP with a chance to lead in the transition to a more sustainable energy future.

    As we've explored the ownership, mission, revenue generation strategies, business model, competitors, and SWOT analysis of BP PLC, it's clear that the company is at a pivotal point. By leveraging its strengths and addressing its challenges, BP has the potential to not only remain a key player in the energy sector but to also lead the way towards a more sustainable and energy-efficient world.


    What are the strengths of BP PLC?

    1. Diversified business operations: BP PLC has a diverse portfolio of businesses including exploration, production, refining, distribution, and marketing of oil and gas products. This diversification helps to mitigate risks and ensure stability in revenues.

    2. Strong global presence: BP operates in over 70 countries worldwide, giving it a significant presence in key oil and gas markets. This global footprint allows the company to capitalize on opportunities in different regions and diversify its revenue streams.

    3. Focus on innovation and technology: BP has a strong focus on research and development, investing in innovative technologies to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and minimize environmental impact. This commitment to innovation helps BP stay ahead of its competitors and adapt to changing market conditions.

    4. Strong brand reputation: BP is one of the largest and most well-known oil and gas companies in the world, with a strong brand reputation built over decades. This reputation helps to attract customers, investors, and employees, and enhances the company's credibility in the industry.

    5. Financial strength: BP has a strong balance sheet and financial position, with solid cash flow generation and a strong credit rating. This financial strength provides the company with the resources to invest in growth opportunities, weather economic downturns, and return value to shareholders.

    What is PLC SWOT analysis?

    PLC SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used by businesses to identify and analyze the internal and external factors that can affect the performance of a product, service, or company in the market. PLC stands for Product Life Cycle, which refers to the stages a product goes through from introduction to decline.

    SWOT analysis stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The purpose of conducting a PLC SWOT analysis is to assess the current position of a product or service in its life cycle and determine the best strategies to capitalize on its strengths, address its weaknesses, take advantage of opportunities, and mitigate potential threats.

    By conducting a PLC SWOT analysis, businesses can make informed decisions about product development, marketing strategies, pricing, distribution, and other key aspects of their operations to ensure the long-term success and profitability of their products or services.

    What is BP unique selling point?

    BP's unique selling point is its commitment to providing sustainable energy solutions and reducing its carbon footprint. The company has made significant investments in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, and has set ambitious targets to become a net-zero carbon company by 2050. BP also offers a range of services and products to help customers reduce their own carbon emissions, such as electric vehicle charging stations and carbon offset programs.

    What are the threats to British petroleum?

    1. Environmental regulations and concerns: BP faces ongoing scrutiny and potential regulatory challenges related to its environmental impact, particularly in the wake of past incidents such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

    2. Volatility in oil prices: Fluctuations in global oil prices can significantly impact BP's profitability and financial performance.

    3. Competition from other major oil and gas companies: BP competes with other major players in the oil and gas industry, such as ExxonMobil, Shell, and Chevron, which can pose a threat to its market share and profitability.

    4. Shift towards renewable energy sources: The growing trend towards renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, poses a threat to BP's traditional fossil fuel-based business model.

    5. Political instability and geopolitical risks: BP operates in multiple countries around the world, and political instability, conflicts, and regulatory changes in these regions can impact its operations and profitability.

    6. Technological advancements and disruption: Advances in technology, such as electric vehicles and energy storage solutions, could disrupt the traditional oil and gas industry and pose a threat to BP's business model.

    7. Cybersecurity threats: Like other major corporations, BP faces the risk of cyber attacks and data breaches, which could compromise its operations and reputation.

    8. Legal and regulatory challenges: BP may face legal challenges related to antitrust laws, environmental regulations, labor practices, and other areas, which could result in financial penalties and damage to its reputation.

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