Business Week – Radical times and Russian oil deal boost BP Amoco.

As oil stocks were the focus of last weekend’s meeting of producers and consumers in Riyadh, BP Amoco was gearing up for the publication of its fourth-quarter and year-end results, writes Michelle Perry.

BP Amoco, one of the world’s leading oil companies, has experienced one of the most progressive periods in its history.

‘If anyone were to write a corporate history of BP the last three years would be seen as the most radical transformation.

‘It is the period of the largest changes within the company,’ said a company spokesman.

BP’s chief financial officer, John Buchanan, has presided over this turbulent but seemingly lucrative time since his appointment in 1996. A chemist by trade, Buchanan nevertheless plays a pivotal role in developments in the world of accounting as a member of the UK Accounting Standards Board and non-executive director of Boots.

It is a crucial time for both Buchanan and BP following the numerous acquisitions over the past three years.

According to announcements made following the third-quarter results, the integration of the recent acquisitions of Arco and Burmah Castrol, finalised in April and July 2000, are bedding down well. But internal changes continue. BP confirmed this month it is planning to sell its 7% stake in Lukoil, Russia’s leading oil group, as part of reorganisation plans of its investments within the country.

And it has agreed to sell to TotalFinaElf its 9.5% stake in the Caspian Sea’s Kashagan oil field, rated as one of the potentially biggest finds in recent years.

Created in December 1998 through the merger of the USA’s Amoco Corporation and the UK’s British Petroleum, the new company kicked off a new lease of life with a decision to rebrand the company with an environmentally-friendly image.

A move undoubtedly hoped to fit in with the growing public demand for socially and environmentally responsible companies.

All that remains for the company is to put the name change – BP Amoco will be known as just BP standing for Beyond Petroleum – to its shareholders for a formal vote at its April agm.

BP Amoco product and company information can be found at

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