BP vs. Exxon

What's the Difference?

BP and Exxon are two of the largest multinational oil and gas companies in the world. Both companies have a significant global presence and are involved in various aspects of the energy industry, including exploration, production, refining, and marketing of petroleum products. However, there are some notable differences between the two. BP has a stronger focus on renewable energy sources and has made significant investments in wind, solar, and biofuels. On the other hand, Exxon has a more traditional approach, with a primary focus on oil and gas exploration and production. Additionally, BP has faced significant public scrutiny and legal challenges due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, while Exxon has had its own share of controversies, including the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. Overall, both companies play a crucial role in the global energy sector, but their strategies and approaches differ in certain aspects.


Photo by Tamara Bitter on Unsplash
IndustryOil and GasOil and Gas
HeadquartersLondon, United KingdomIrving, Texas, United States
Revenue$282.6 billion (2019)$264.9 billion (2019)
Net Income$4.0 billion (2019)$14.3 billion (2019)
Number of Employees70,100 (2019)74,900 (2019)
Market Capitalization$79.8 billion (2020)$185.6 billion (2020)
OperationsExploration, Production, Refining, DistributionExploration, Production, Refining, Distribution
Major ProjectsThunder Horse, Atlantis, Shah DenizKearl Oil Sands, Hebron, Liza
Environmental InitiativesReducing carbon emissions, Investing in renewable energyReducing carbon emissions, Investing in renewable energy
Photo by Krzysztof Hepner on Unsplash

Further Detail


BP and Exxon are two of the largest multinational oil and gas companies in the world. Both companies have a significant global presence and play a crucial role in the energy sector. In this article, we will compare and contrast the attributes of BP and Exxon, including their history, financial performance, environmental initiatives, and corporate social responsibility.


BP, formerly known as British Petroleum, was founded in 1909 and has a long-standing history in the oil industry. It has grown through mergers and acquisitions, expanding its operations globally. On the other hand, Exxon, originally known as Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, traces its roots back to 1870. It has also undergone various name changes and mergers, becoming Exxon Corporation in 1972. Both companies have a rich heritage and have played significant roles in shaping the oil and gas industry.

Financial Performance

When comparing the financial performance of BP and Exxon, it is important to consider various factors such as revenue, profitability, and market capitalization. As of the latest available data, Exxon has a higher revenue and market capitalization compared to BP. However, BP has shown a steady recovery from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, which had a significant impact on its financials. Both companies have faced challenges due to fluctuations in oil prices and geopolitical factors, but they continue to be major players in the industry.

Environmental Initiatives

Environmental sustainability has become a critical focus for oil and gas companies in recent years. BP has made significant efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and invest in renewable energy sources. The company has set ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase its renewable energy capacity. Exxon, on the other hand, has faced criticism for its stance on climate change and its investments in fossil fuels. However, in recent years, Exxon has started to invest in low-carbon technologies and research to address environmental concerns.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Both BP and Exxon recognize the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and have implemented initiatives to contribute positively to society. BP has focused on supporting local communities, promoting education, and investing in social programs. The company has also been involved in various philanthropic activities, including disaster relief efforts. Exxon has also demonstrated its commitment to CSR through initiatives such as supporting education, health, and environmental conservation projects. Both companies have established foundations to drive their CSR efforts and make a positive impact on the communities they operate in.

Safety and Accidents

Safety is a critical aspect of the oil and gas industry, and both BP and Exxon have faced major accidents in the past. BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 was one of the largest environmental disasters in history. The incident had severe consequences for the environment and the company's reputation. Exxon also faced a significant accident in 1989 when the Exxon Valdez oil tanker spilled millions of gallons of crude oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound. Both incidents highlighted the need for stricter safety regulations and improved industry practices.

Research and Development

Investment in research and development (R&D) is crucial for the long-term sustainability and growth of oil and gas companies. BP has been actively involved in R&D, focusing on developing advanced technologies for cleaner energy production and exploring new oil and gas reserves. The company has also collaborated with academic institutions and research organizations to drive innovation in the energy sector. Exxon has also invested significantly in R&D, particularly in areas such as carbon capture and storage, biofuels, and advanced materials. Both companies recognize the importance of innovation to address the evolving energy landscape.


BP and Exxon are two major players in the oil and gas industry, with a global presence and a rich history. While they share similarities in terms of their financial performance and commitment to corporate social responsibility, they differ in their environmental initiatives and safety records. Both companies continue to face challenges and adapt to the changing energy landscape. As the world transitions towards cleaner and more sustainable energy sources, it will be interesting to see how BP and Exxon navigate these changes and contribute to a more sustainable future.

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