BP remains in the red despite year-end crude boost

Chief executive Bob Dudley said BP had delivered 'solid results in tough conditions'. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Chief executive Bob Dudley said BP had delivered 'solid results in tough conditions'. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
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Oil giant BP remained in the red with losses of $999 million (£803m) for 2016, but revealed a year-end boost as crude prices bounced back.

The group clawed its way back into the black in the fourth quarter, with profits of $72m against losses of $2.2 billion a year earlier.

We have delivered solid results in tough conditions

Bob Dudley

That helped annual losses improve from the mammoth $5.2bn deficit posted in 2015, which was its worst result for at least 20 years.

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On an underlying basis, BP saw profits more than halve in 2016 to $2.59bn, compared with $5.91bn the previous year.

BP said oil prices remained “challenging” in 2016, with the average for Brent crude standing at $44 a barrel – the lowest for 12 years.

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Recent higher prices, which have recovered above $50 a barrel, helped underlying replacement cost profits more than double to $400m in the fourth quarter, up from $196m a year earlier. But this was lower than City forecasts for about $560m.

The group said it expected to balance its books at an oil price of about $60 a barrel by the end of 2017 and hopes production to rise this year, although it cautioned over the impact of Opec’s decision to cut production.

Chief executive Bob Dudley said: “We have delivered solid results in tough conditions – and are well prepared for any volatility in oil pricing.”

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