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BP is latest to suffer profit hit from lower oil prices

BP is latest to suffer profit hit from lower oil prices
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BP is the latest energy firm to report lower profits and say it will spend less on exploration because of falling oil prices.

Full year profit was 10 percent lower at just over $12 billion (10.5 billion euros). Its underlying profits in the final three months of the year were down 20 percent on a year earlier at $2.2 billion (1.92 billion euros).

But a surprise $470 million (411 million euros) contribution from its stake in Russia’s Rosneft helped it produce better than expected results.

Profits specifically from oil production were down 42 percent and chief executive Bob Dudley said the firm had entered a “challenging phase”.

Clean-up costs from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster are still an issue; BP has so far spend $43.5 billion (38 billion euros).

BP has already announced plans to axe thousands of jobs by the end of the year as part of a huge restructuring program.

It also wrote down $3.6 billion (3.15 billion euros) of assets to reflect the lower value of its operations and reserves.

Taking that into account, and other one-off items, BP’s loss for the quarter was close to $1 billion (874 million euros).