Why is Amoco becoming BP?

Not that I care much, but I am curious. I assume BP means British Petroleum. It just seems odd that a national icon like Standard/American/Amoco is vanishing.

Anybody got the straight dope?

Yes, BP stands for British Petroleum. It bought Amoco in 1998 (you’ll need to scroll down for this):

More can be found by running a search on “Amoco” in BP’s own site.

My husband worked for Amoco, when the companies originally merged it was thought that both names would be kept, unfortunatly it didn’t work out that way. They were first called BP Amoco, and had both the standard logo and the BP sunflower then they slowly phased out the standard logo .All the Amoco gas stations have a limited amount of time to switch over to BP although a lot of the independatly owned ones are resisting the change.If they continue to resist they will eventually lose their franchise license. Now the only place you see the Amoco name is on the stock and on the gas pumps .

Just guesswork, but BP has recently rebranded (slightly unconvincingly, as the eco-friendly “Beyond Petroleum”), so maybe this is some attempt at consolidating the brand name globally? Brand recognition and all that… your guess is as good as mine as to whether replacing a well-known US brand name is a good marketing move or not.

I would look to see this trend continue through the next few years and I am wondering which U.S. company will get swallowed next. Citgo? Arco? (I don’t think they’ll make a direct raid on Exxon Mobil in the immediate future.)

BP started with Standard of Ohio/Sohio. They initially formed a “partnership” with Sohio that provided the funds that let Sohio get in on the development of the Alaskan north fields and pipeline. Once they had that secured, they began using their leverage to overwhelm Sohio, eventually decapitating the organization and running it from Britain. After a couple of years, they looked around for another mid level U.S. gas company and settled on Standard of Indiana/Amoco.

Aside from some games they played with U.S. tax dollars in the 1980s, (shipping the Alaskan oil to Japan for processing and taking a tax break for “developing export sales” then bringing back the refined oil and taking a tax break for “having to” import oil), I see them as just one more international corporation who happens to be playing in our back yard.

Vastar, which was the oil & gas spin off of ARCO, has been swallowed up by BP already. And you probably know that Texaco is now part of Chevron Texaco. Expect to see any remaining Texaco stations rebranded as Shell stations soon. In the industry, the expectation is that Exxon Mobil will soon revert to Exxon. Pennzoil is no longer an oil and gas company, that part having become one of the first pieces of Devon Energy.

Anybody remeber Gulf Oil? Getty?

It’s hard to keep track of where Shell’s various entities have wandered.

BP is no longer an abbreviation, its the actual name of the company, like KFC…


Just like KFC wanted to get away from “Fried”, they wanted to get away from that nasty outmoded old word “Petroleum” to show they they are a forward-thinking, environmentally sensitive company. The name Amoco was probably too filled with “oil company” baggage to fit the new image they are trying to create.

I don’t know that any of the dealmakers ever believed it – I think it was just a political move to placate U.S. consumers and Amoco employees. Indeed, I remember the joke going around at the time:

Q: “What’s the British-English pronounciation of ‘BP-Amoco?’”
A: “BP”


I too worked for Amoco until 1998. I remember Larry Fuller (CEO) stating that there would always be a torch and oval (Old Amoco logo) at all Amoco stations. He went on to blather about Amoco’s history and how important it’s place in the American landscape had become. What a crock!

Fast forward to 2003 and the famous Amoco building where I once worked isn’t even caled the Amoco building anymore.

Qwisp, where did you and your husband work?

Arco was acquired by BP by late 2000, IIRC. And Castrol was acquired in 2001. This I know because I had to integrate their networks into BP’s already massive enterprise.

They seem to have slowed down their acquisition phase, and have been divesting several sites and business units, and going through layoffs and re-orgs. However, I’m sure once the market turns around, they will be hungry to buy up more companies.

It switched because some conehead of a consultant, probably paid a six-figure sum, convinced BP management that throwing away all the name-brand recognition that Amoco has developed over the years as well as modifying or disposing of all of the assets that are currently branded as Amoco would drain less money out of the company’s profits than maintaining the separate brand in the US.

And then, in four or five years, a consultant will probably tell BP management to reintroduce the Amoco brand as a way to increase revenues from the nostalgia factor as well as maintaining the use of their intellectual property. It might even be the same consultant.

thanks, all!

So, an American oil company was bought out by a British petroleum company. That’s sounds like a standard operation, or, as we say, S.O.

I didn’t work for Amoco,my husband worked at Amoco Chemical company in Joliet

Ringo the Shell transition is WELL underway here in Texas. Driving up I-35 today I noticed that some small towns have nothing but Shell stations; at one point I could see three Shell stations within one mile of each other. All had the new white background logo. Many were former Texaco stations.

To slightly hijack this thread, I wonder why Shell is being so aggressive with the name change? Texaco is a well-known brand, especially here (it even has part of the state in it’s name!) I know that with other products (detergent, some food staples) the same company manufactures several different brands and displays them next to each other. This retains whatever brand loyalty consumers had while giving them a “choice” of product selection.

In a small Texas town along the interstate, is it truly effective to change two Texaco stations to Shell so now EVERY gas station in town is a Shell station? Doesn’t perceived competition carry some value?

I don’t want to turn this into an IMHO thread, though…just wondering if anyone knows the reasoning behind the aggressive Shell re-branding.

If I were BP, I’d fire the idiot who decided to do away with the highly-recognizable Amoco logos and signage. The new BP logo and signage is not recognzied, not distinguishable from a great distance, and some signage STILL uses the Amoco name!

What asshole CEO of BP thinks the BP name is so great? They should have left things alone - keeping the (old and forgotten) BP name on paper only as parent company.

ExxonMobil is smart for not upsetting the status quo. - Jinx

How much brand loyalty is there for gas?

Before they all accepted Visa and MC, I would look for the brands for hich I had credit cards when traveling (to defer my cash outlay until after the trip). Otherwise, I just looked for the cheapest gas–as I do now, even on trips, using my Visa. I have never felt that I should patronize one robber baron’s fief over another.

In the UK there is next to no brand loyalty for petrol.

I’m curious as to what BPAmoco will do with the huge road signs advertising many of the stations. Very near me, there’s an Amoco station that has a sign that must be something like 50ft wide 50ft in height. It’s huge!

I’ve heard that BP is one of the largest supplier of solar panels in the world. Is true? Also, where can I find a BP station near Salem, NH?