Profits at BP slumped by 58% in the second quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2015.
The oil giant – which reported a profit of $720 million this year, compared to $1.3 billion last year – today blamed the slump in crude oil prices.
The Brent oil marker price averaged $46 a barrel in the second quarter, up from $34 in the first quarter but still significantly lower than $62 a year earlier. While improved from the previous quarter, refining margins were the weakest for a second quarter since 2010.
BP is planning for the future with a crude oil price in the $50-55-barrel range. Brent crude closed yesterday at $44.75-barrel.
Compared with a year earlier, the underlying second quarter result was impacted by lower oil and gas prices and significantly lower refining margins, but this was partly offset by the benefit of lower cash costs throughout the group as well as lower exploration write-offs.
Bob Dudley, BP Chief Executive said: “As we look forward we expect the external environment to remain challenging, but we have a strong pipeline of new projects which will add 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day of new production capacity by the end of next year.
“Beyond this lie further opportunities, including a number which we expect to deliver through innovative structures such as the recently announced Aker BP venture.
“We are delivering significant improvements to the business that will stick at any oil price. We are now well down the path of transforming our business to compete, whatever the future holds. We now see a much stronger outlook for BP and are focused on growth, both for this decade and beyond.”
The normally-outspoken Dudley – who was vocal in his opposition to Independence for Scotland in the 2014 Referendum – made no reference to the British vote last month in favour of Independence from the EU-bloc; nor on the prospect of a consequent second Scottish Independence Referendum.