BP profits down by half-billion

BP has claimed its quarterly results showing 19 per cent fall in profits reflect a “weaker environment” for the oil industry.

Profit for the first quarter of 2015 was $2.6 billion compared with $3.2 billion for the same period in 2014 and $2.2 billion for the fourth quarter of 2014.

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Robert Dudley, BP group chief executive

The firm’s group chief executive, Bob Dudley, said the fall in profits was caused by low oil and gas prices, which were sharply lower than last year.

“We are resetting and rebalancing BP to meet the challenges of a possible period of sustained lower prices,” he said.

“We are continuing to progress our planned divestment programme, we are resetting our level of capital spending, and we are addressing costs through focusing on simplification and efficiency throughout BP.”

BP Deepwater Horizon SMALLBrent crude averaged $54 per barrel compared with $108 in the first three months of 2014. This was the lowest quarterly average in Brent prices since the beginning of 2009.

There was good news for investors as the company announced a quarterly dividend of 10 cents per share, expected to be paid in June.

The company also revealed its total cumulative pre-tax charges for the infamous Gulf of Mexico oil spill is now $43.8 billion after accepting an additional charge of $332 million in the quarter due to additional business economic loss claims.