Dramatic narrative, arresting analysis and original research are combined in this book, which addresses the history of one of the world's biggest oil businesses between 1950 and 1975. Assessing BP's comparative performance, the book focuses on how BP responded politically, economically and culturally to the rise of new competitors, the decline of Britain's imperial power, and the determination of nation states to assert national sovereignty over the vital commodity, oil. Climaxing with the OPEC crisis which shook the world in the 1970s, the book - authorised by BP with uniquely unrestricted access to its records - is of wide interest and relevance, especially for those interested in big business, globalisation and nationalism, international affairs, OPEC, the Middle East, and oil.
' ... exciting and well-written ... It ranges far wider than the story of one company and offers fascinating insights into the political and economic developments of the period ... For such insights, for its historical breadth and for a first-rate account of the politics and internal development of company strategy, this book should appeal to a much wider readership than its bulk and title might suggest.' Financial Times 'The author deftly combines corporate biography with the insights of Chandlerian business history ... and in so doing has produced a very satisfying book. the work is a splendid successor to the first two volumes in this series ...'. Business History 'It will give pleasure to all who are intrigued by the rise of the industry, the struggles of the companies within it, and their changing place in the world economy and politics during this period.' The Journal of Energy and Development '... this book represents the very best of company history, marked by lucidity, meticulous research and sound historical judgement.' History
Introduction: the political economy of international oil; Part I. In a Rising Tide of Nationalism: 1. 'The structure and sinews of the Company'; 2. Management and culture; 3. The Suez crisis; 4. 'Our aim and policy the energetic search for new sources of crude oil'; 5. Finance and the British government; Part II. Under Pressure from the Producers: 6. The advent of OPEC; 7. The political balancing act; 8. The 'Holy Grail' of exploration; 9. The push for outlets ...; 10. ... and more outlets; 11. Refining and shipping; 12. Financial strains; 13. The managerial hierarchy; Part III. Diversifications: 14. Alliances in petrochemicals; 15. Integration in petrochemicals; 16. Computing; 17. Nutrition; Part IV: OPEC Takes Control: 18. 'An avalanche of escalating demands'; 19. The end of an era; Retrospect and conclusion.