British oil giant lists heavy loss over slumping oil
British energy giant BP has registered a hefty loss in the first quarter of this year due to a downward spiral in crude prices and a costly oil spill of 2010.
The multinational company announced a net loss of $583 million for the first three months of 2016 or an 80 percent drop in profits, which compared with a profit after-tax of $2.6 billion during the first quarter of 2015.
BP said Tuesday it had slashed costs by $4.6 billion over 2014 levels and cut spending by $500 million from the first quarter of last year.
Earlier this year, a US federal court ordered BP to pay over $20 billion to settle a lawsuit on the deadly 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
In April 2010, an explosion on a drilling rig of the Deepwater Horizon, a BP subsidiary, off the coast of Louisiana killed 11 workers and unleashed 134 million gallons of crude oil into Gulf of Mexico.
The latest news comes against the backdrop of a downward trend in crude prices over the past year.
Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil, fell 34 percent in 2015 and hit a 12-year low of $27.10 a barrel in January. It traded at $44.32 on Monday.
In a statement accompanying the results, BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley said despite the challenging environment, the company was “driving towards our near-term goal of rebalancing BP’s cash flows. Operational performance is strong and our work to reset costs has considerable momentum and is delivering results. Furthermore, development of our next wave of material upstream projects is well on track.”
Back in February, BP announced its worst annual loss in 20 years, reporting a loss of $6.5 billion for 2015 as a whole, media reports said.
In the fourth quarter of last year, the company took $2.6 billion in non-operating post-tax charges, primarily related to impairments of upstream assets as well as restructuring charges for the group. Including these charges and other offsetting effects, BP reported a replacement cost loss for the fourth quarter of 2015 of $2.2 billion.