BP’s Revenue Dwarfs Contracts and Criminal Settlement

Photograph by Kari Goodnough/Bloomberg

Oil from the BP spill floats in the Gulf of Mexico near Orange Beach, Alabama.

Washington is buzzing about BP Plc’s recent suspension from winning new U.S. government contracts. A few figures to provide some perspective on the oil company, which agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges after the worst oil spill in U.S. history:

  • BP had Pentagon fuel awards valued at about $1.35 billion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 20b1, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
  • The company on Nov. 15 agreed to pay $4.5 billion to end all criminal charges and resolve securities claims relating to the Gulf of Mexico disaster in 2010 that killed 11 people.
  • BP’s revenue in 2011: $376 billion. That’s more than the gross domestic product of Denmark. It would be the equivalent of buying more than 2 billion UGG Boots or about 571 million iPad Minis.
  • The British oil company had about eight times the annual revenue of No. 1 federal contractor Lockheed Martin Corp., which had about $46.5 billion in sales in 2011.

Nevertheless, the suspension will “take a toll” on BP, said Charles Tiefer, a University of Baltimore law professor and former member of the Commission on Wartime Contracting.

Government acquisition officers weigh contractors’ past performances as they evaluate bids.  That track record is becoming more important as contractors face more competition for a shrinking pool of contracts, he said.

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