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British Petroleum, which is due to celebrate its centennial in 2008, is singularly responsible for the discovery of much of the Middle East's oil wealth. As Heiss (1997) explains, the discovery of oil in Iraq, Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, is part of BP's long history…
Colonialism, however, eventually collapsed but BP did not (Heiss, 1997). Indeed, not only did BP survive the collapse of colonialism but it expanded its global operations, effectively maintained its status as one of the world's top oil and gas multinationals. In recent years, however, BP's status was threatened by industrial accidents which, consequent to their detrimental environmental effects, turned public opinion against the company. Survival, evidenced in the fact that it did re-bounce, was predicated on the successful revamping of BP's image.
With the dawn of the new millennium, British Petroleum's problems reached the point of crisis. Its environmental and human rights records were placed in the spotlight and subjected to public scrutiny, with the outcome being that in both 2001 and 2006, BP was named as one of the world's worst corporations (Cameron, 2006). Allegations, the majority of which were substantiated and incontrovertibly factual, encompassed of BP's poor environmental record, its abuse of its own employees, its support of totalitarian governments for its own financial gain and the exploitation of the public's dependency on oil and gas for the expansion of its profit margins.
Accusations pertaining to abuse of its labour force focus on the Tex ...
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