BP, Europe’s largest oil company, says it saw a further decline in oil and gas production in the fourth quarter of last year as a consequence of the US hurricanes. A trading statement revealed that the company’s output in the period was just over four million barrels of oil equivalent a day, that is about 2% less than it produced in the same quarter of 2004.
Unfortunately for BP, the oil it gets from the Gulf of Mexico is among its most profitable. The company’s turnover for last year is forecast to be 308 billion euros, putting it second behind Exxon Mobil and ahead of Chevron and Shell. BP said lost profits and repair costs from the hurricane damage total over 820 million euros.
Its Texas City refinery, which is the third largest in the US, remains closed and no date has been given for restarting production at the Gulf of Mexico facility. However, energy industry analysts expect BP next month will be able to announce bumper annual profits for 2005, with record oil prices more than compensating for the failure to significantly boost output.