BP sees first annual loss in 18 years

13:02, February 02, 2011      

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Photo taken on Feb. 1, 2011, shows the logos of British Petroleum (BP) at a petrol station in London, Britain. BP reported a loss of 4.9 billion US dollars (around 3.1 billion pounds) for 2010, its first annual loss since 1992, owing to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico happened in April, 2010. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)
British Petroleum (BP) reported Tuesday a net loss of 4.9 billion U.S. dollars for 2010, the first annual loss for the oil giant since 1992.

BP attributed the shortfall mainly to costs from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which is estimated at 40.9 billion dollars, a bit higher than its previous prediction of 40 billion dollars.

The company also said to resume its dividend payment to shareholders at seven cents per share, which had been suspended after the devastating spill.

BP's chief executive Bob Dudley said Tuesday that the company would continue to reshape and refocus as it looks to "resetting" the company.

The year 2011 will be a year of recovery and consolidation as we implement the changes we have identified to reduce operational risk and meet our commitments arising from the spill, Dudley said.

BP's Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig on the of the Gulf of Mexico had a blast on April 20, which killed 11 workers and leaked about 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf waters.

Meanwhile, BP's fourth-quarter profit in 2010 hit 4.6 billion dollars, 35.3 percent higher than a year earlier, mainly due to the rising oil price, which has climbed to 90 dollars a barrel by the end of 2010.

The company is expected to benefit further from the continuously rising oil price amid market concerns over the impact from the Egypt crisis on global crude oil supply.

BP also said Tuesday it would sell two of its oil refineries in the U.S., less than one month after it signed a share-swap deal with Russian oil producer Rosneft to explore Russia's Arctic oil and gas, which marks BP is shifting its focus away from the U.S.

But the deal with Rosneft have upset the Russian shareholders in BP's other joint venture, TNK-BP, who won an injunction with London high court to stop the new JV on Tuesday.

However, analysts generally expected the dispute would finally be resolved through arbitration.

Source: Xinhua
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