Washington, D.C. 20549

                                    Form 6-K

                            Report of Foreign Issuer

                      Pursuant to Rule 13a-16 or 15d-16 of
                       the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

                       for the period ended (Day/Month/Year)

                                    BP p.l.c.
                 (Translation of registrant's name into English)

                    (Address of principal executive offices)

     Indicate  by check mark  whether the  registrant  files or will file annual
     reports under cover Form 20-F or Form 40-F.

              Form 20-F        |X|          Form 40-F
                         ---------------               ----------------

     Indicate by check mark whether the registrant by furnishing the information
     contained in this Form is also thereby  furnishing  the  information to the
     Commission  pursuant to Rule 12g3-2(b) under the Securities Exchange Act of

                    Yes                            No        |X|
                         ---------------               ----------------

August 4, 2004

       The following release was issued in Tokyo at 1530 local time today


BP Japan and Petrolub International announced today that they have reached an
agreement to merge their automotive lubricant businesses and create a new
company called BP Castrol KK with combined total sales revenues of $180 million
(JPY20 billion).

Petrolub International, which is publicly traded on the 1st Section of the Tokyo
Stock Exchange, has been importing, manufacturing and marketing BP and Duckhams
branded automotive lubricants since 1978 with BP holding a 31.54 per cent
interest in the company.  However the Castrol lubricants business, which BP
acquired in 2000, is currently operated by BP Japan.

"This deal brings together the strong lubricant brands of the BP Group in Japan,
which is the second largest automotive lubricants market in the world, and will
create a broader platform from which to develop the business further," said Mike
Johnson, BP's Asia Pacific lubricants vice president.

Following the transaction, BP will own around 70 per cent of BP Castrol KK,
which will continue to be traded on the Tokyo stock exchange, and will also
operate the new combined business.  The parties anticipate completing the
transaction, which requires shareholder approval, around the turn of the year.

"This merger will strengthen the sales operations of BP Group automotive
lubricants within Japan," said K Ohashi, president of Petrolub. "In particular
it will enable us to provide an enhanced service - fully supported by the global
BP lubricants organisation - to our Japanese customers."

Until such time as BP Castrol KK is formed, currently estimated to be around
January 1, 2005, BP Japan and Petrolub will continue to operate their respective
lubricants businesses as separate operations, observing the highest operational
and safety standards, while preparing for a smooth transition.

Notes to Editors:

-    BP is one of the world's largest energy  companies,  with interests in more
     than 100 countries and over 103,000 employees.

-    BP has been doing business in Japan since the 1950s and gained a listing on
     the Tokyo  Stock  Exchange in August  1987.  It  currently  operates in the
     chemicals, gas and power, lubricants, marine, solar and trading sectors.

-    The Japanese  automotive  lubricants  market is around $2bn  (JPY200bn) per
     annum, making it the second largest in the world.

-    The combined net asset value of the new company is in excess of $63 million
     (JPY7 billion).

Further information:

Hiromi Barada, BP Japan, tel: +81 3 3796 6404
Wendy Silcock, BP London, tel: +44 (0)207 496 4358

                                    - ENDS -


Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the
registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the
undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.

                                         BP p.l.c.

Dated:  04 August, 2004                            /s/ D. J. PEARL
                                                  D. J. PEARL
                                                  Deputy Company Secretary