BOB DUDLEY, the BP boss, has indicated that the oil major had no regrets over rival Royal Dutch Shell’s £47 billion swoop on BG Group, as he faced shareholders at its annual general meeting.
The recently announced deal has prompted speculation that a weakened BP – described as being like a “tired horse” by one private investor at the meeting – could itself become a bid target.
Dudley was pressed over reports that BP had baulked at buying BG a few years ago, and whether this had been a mistake. But he replied: “We are really happy with our portfolio. I think it is not the thing for BP to have done.”
Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg played down the idea of more consolidation in the industry, amid speculation about the likes of Exxon moving for BP.
He said: “It is not a given that if you take two oil majors and put them together you have enough synergies to make them stronger.”
The sector is under pressure because the price of oil has fallen by half since last summer, with BP also still counting the cost of 2010’s Deepwater Horizon blow-out off the US coast.
The disaster, which killed 11 workers and spilled millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, has so far cost it $43.5 billion (£29bn).
Svanberg added: “The price of oil has gone back to its old volatile ways after four years of relative stability.”
Before the meeting, shareholders had been urged by advisory body Pirc to vote against Dudley’s $15.3 million pay package.
It described the sum as “excessive” and said that changes in the chief executive’s pay over the past five years “are not considered in line with the company’s financial performance over the same period”.
But there were no questions from shareholders over Dudley’s pay, and only 11 per cent voted against the remuneration report.
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND MOBILE APPS