Bob Dudley

Oil giant BP has reported a decline in profit for the fourth quarter of 2013 at $2.8bn, compared with $3.9bn for the fourth quarter of 2012.

The company’s full-year underlying replacement cost profit stood at $13.4bn for 2013, compared with $17.1bn for 2012.

The results, when compared with the same period in 2012, were affected by the impact of the company’s major divestment programme.

Other reasons include weaker refining margins and higher depreciation and exploration write-offs as the group brought new projects online and increased its investment in exploration.

These impacts are said to be partially offset by strong growth in underlying oil and gas production, particularly from regions such as the North Sea, Angola and Gulf of Mexico.

BP group chief executive Bob Dudley said: "BP delivered strong operating performance throughout 2013, with increased asset reliability and major project delivery in both our upstream and downstream businesses.

"These achievements underpin our financial targets for 2014 and lay the foundation for continued growth in sustainable free cash flow."

In October 2013, the company announced that it expects to divest a further $10bn of assets by the end of 2015, following the completion of its $38bn divestment programme.

The company has agreed around $1.7bn of such further divestments to date.

"The company has agreed around $1.7bn of such further divestments to date."

According to the company, at the end of 2013 the cumulative pre-tax charge for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill stood at $42.7bn.

During the quarter, the charge increased by $0.2bn to reflect an increase in the provision for legal costs, and ongoing Gulf Coast Restoration Organisation costs.

Total reported that production of oil and gas for the quarter, including Russia, was 3.23 million barrels of oil equivalent a day.

Growth in underlying oil and gas production outside Russia was driven by new production from high-margin regions.

Underlying production excluding Russia in the quarter stood 3.7% higher compared with the fourth quarter of 2012.

Image: BP group chief executive Bob Dudley. Photo: courtesy of BP plc.

Nri energy