BP is one of the most powerful corporations operating in the United States.
Its 2009 revenues of $327bn are enough to rank BP as the third-largest corporation in the country. It spends aggressively to influence US policy and regulatory oversight.
In 2009, the company spent nearly $16m on lobbying the federal government, ranking it among the 20 highest.
Seven of the 10 largest corporations in the world are oil companies.