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BP logs first annual loss since 1992 on oil spill disaster

3 February 2011 No Comment

CRISIS-HIT BP reported its first annual loss in almost two decades on Tuesday, as a result of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster, and outlined fresh plans to shift focus away from the United States.

BP suffered a loss of $4.9 billion (S$6.2 billion) last year, which was the first shortfall since 1992 and compared with a massive profit of US$13.955 billion in 2009, it revealed in a results statement.

The energy major also raised the estimate of costs from the devastating oil spill to US$40.9 billion, compared with previous guidance of US$40 billion.

But the company will resume payment of its shareholder dividend at seven cents per share. The payout was suspended in the wake of the devastating spill, in the face of intense US political pressure.

‘2010 will rightly be remembered for the tragic accident and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and it is clear that as a result BP is a company in transition,’ Chief Executive Bob Dudley said. ‘I am determined that we will emerge from this episode as a company that is safer, stronger, more sustainable, more trusted and also more valuable.’

BP’s fortunes were ravaged last year by the oil spill, which was widely acknowledged to be the worst environmental catastrophe in US history and knocked billions of dollars off the its value. The group is now trying to move on from the oil disaster after agreeing to sell US$30 billion of assets to help pay for the clean-up bill.

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