If you were to draw an oily line from the first exploitation of oil in the Middle East by the British in 1901 (they were in the process of converting their then world dominating naval fleet from coal to oil and were in desperate need of it) to the overthrow of the secular democratic leader in Iran, Mohammed Mossadeq, in 1953, to the Iraq War, to the criminal environmental catastrophe in the Gulf, BP would have been there.
But the fourth largest company in the world wasn't always called BP. It used to be owned by the British Government (remember the navy armada in need of oil). It was named the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company when the CIA teamed up with the British because the Western style Iranian leader Mossadeq wanted to nationalize Britain's 100% owned and run giant oil concession in Iran, and the West would have none of that. So Eisenhower authorized "Operation Ajax," and the Shah of Iran was placed in power -- ruling with an iron fist and the dreaded SAVAK, all the time fully backed by the
-- leading to the radical theocratic revolution that we still confront today. All the time BP, which formally adopted its current name in 1954, was there. U.S.