BP Upstream Oil Operations

BPA corporate strategy article by Thunderbird students Timothy Houston, Timothy Mayberry, Adam Yestrepsky, Matthew Allred and Bhawin Khanna

The changing environment of the upstream crude oil procurement industry and recent catastrophic accidents have created numerous issues for British Petroleum (BP). International oil companies such as BP face the challenge of entering markets which are dominated by national oil companies that receive subsidies from local governments and beneficial treatments. BP also has a tarnished public reputation driven by the Deepwater Horizon gulf oil spill, which makes global and domestic operation even more difficult. The recent disasters within the oil procurement industry also have driven tighter environmental regulations that require new approaches and techniques to crude oil isolation. BP has developed a comprehensive program to tackle these new hurdles for its upstream oil procurement division. This plan is known as “Project 20K” and involves new technology, unique approaches to regulations, and new business strategies.

Global strategy for First Solar

First Solar global strategyBy Gregg Gallager, Arnold Jee, David Lembo, Colleen Manley, Eric Moldabayev and Paola Torres

First Solar (FS) was originally founded as Solar Cells in 1984 by inventor and visionary Harold McMaster. McMaster with the help of Jim Nolan made the switch from amorphous silicon to Cadmium telluride (CdTe). This switch in thin film technology allowed Solar Cells to manufacture moderately efficient (7%) and low-cost thin film cells on a large scale.

In 1999, Solar Cells was purchased by True North Partners, LLC (an investment company of the Walton Family) and the name was then changed to First Solar. In 2006, FS became a publically traded company and released its IPO on the NASDAQ to become the first “pure play” renewable company listed on the S&P 500. Since its public offering, FS has never looked back as it ranked 10th in the Fortunes Fastest Growing Companies and sixth as the world’s most innovative companies in 2010. Today FS has remained true to its innovative spirit by being an industry leader in the manufacturing of photovoltaic, thin film solar modules worldwide.  As the leader of the solar energy industry, FS has dominated their competition as a result of their innovation in productivity, cost reduction measures, and implementation of environmentally friendly solutions.

Sempra Energy gives the electric car a second chance

Sempra Energy global strategyBy Helen Akanisi, Sam Brien, Fikre Gurja, Christian Lorentzen and Jonathan Norberg

In 2006 a popular documentary asked, “Who killed the electric car?” A few years from now when documentaries are asking, “Who brought the electric car back to life?” one of the names tossed around might very well be Southern California’s Sempra Energy. Sempra, a Fortune 500 company and parent to the major electric and natural gas utilities in San Diego and Southern Orange County and a major utilities player throughout the Southwest, has strategically positioned itself in recent months to potentially be a leader in the rolling out of the “smart grid” and electric vehicle (EV) charging station infrastructure which are key to giving new life to a technological dream pronounced dead only a few years ago. Whether or not Sempra is remembered as a savior of the electric car or just another failed attempt in that direction will depend on whether they are able to overcome the technical and financial hurdles that have made the electric car an elusive goal.

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