BP today reported its quarterly results for the second quarter of 2012. Underlying replacement cost profit for the quarter, adjusted for non-operating items and fair value accounting effects, was $3.7 billion, compared with $5.7 billion for the same period in 2011 and $4.8 billion for the first quarter of 2012.
Compared to the previous quarter, the underlying results were depressed by weaker oil and US gas prices together with reductions in output due to extensive planned maintenance, particularly affecting high-margin production from the Gulf of Mexico, and lower net income from TNK-BP. This was partly offset by a beneficial consolidation adjustment to unrealised profit in inventory.
BP’s share of net income from TNK-BP was $700 million lower than the first quarter, driven by the impact of the rapid fall in oil prices amplified by the lag in Russian oil export duty, which is based on earlier higher oil prices. At current Urals prices, net income in the third quarter is expected to show some positive reversal of the duty lag.
Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive, said: “We recognise this was a weak earnings quarter, driven by a combination of factors affecting both the sector and BP specifically.
“The effects of price movements have impacted our earnings in the quarter. Our extensive turnaround and maintenance programme, which will continue into the third quarter, is also affecting some aspects of our near term results. All of this will take time, but it is important investment that will enhance safety and reliability for the long term. As we deliver this major transformation, we are also committed to generating sustainable efficiencies in our operations.
“Rebuilding trust with our shareholders and other stakeholders is vitally important. We are making progress against the critical strategic and operational targets we have set ourselves and are confident that this will deliver long-term, sustainable value.”
Non-operating items included a number of significant impairments, totalling $4.8 billion on a pre-tax basis, relating primarily to reductions in value of US shale gas assets, certain refineries in the company’s portfolio and the decision to suspend the Liberty project in Alaska.
Operating cash flow for the second quarter, after $1.7 billion of post-tax Gulf of Mexico expenditure, was $4.4 billion, compared to $3.4 billion in the previous quarter. Gearing was 21.9%, reflecting the impact on equity due to the impairments. BP announced a dividend for the quarter of 8c per ordinary share.
BP’s production of oil and gas, excluding TNK-BP, averaged 2.275 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (mmboed) in the second quarter, compared to 2.457 mmboed for the same period last year. Reported production in the third quarter is expected to be slightly lower, as the seasonal turnaround programme continues, before increasing in the fourth quarter. In line with previous guidance, full year underlying production, adjusted for divestments, is expected to be broadly similar to 2011. BP’s share of TNK-BP production in the second quarter was 1.016 mmboed, compared to 0.976mmboed for the second quarter of 2011.
BP expects to increase operating cash flow by 50 per cent from 2011 levels in 2014, in a $100 a barrel oil price environment (see Notes, below). This is expected to be driven both by the completion of contributions into the Gulf of Mexico Trust Fund — expected by the end of 2012 — and the delivery of major projects, focused on 15 new higher-margin upstream projects scheduled to begin production by the end of 2014. Six are scheduled to start up in 2012, and two – Galapagos in the Gulf of Mexico and Clochas-Mavacola offshore Angola – are now on stream. Six rigs are now operational on BP fields in the Gulf of Mexico, with a total of eight expected to be in place by year end.
“Moving into 2013, we expect earnings momentum to build as we complete payments into the Trust Fund, as high-value production comes back on line, and as the impact of new projects ramps up,” Dudley said.
By the end of the second quarter, BP had paid a total of $8.8 billion in individual and business claims and government payments arising from the Deepwater Horizon incident. The cash balances in the Trust and the Qualified Settlement Funds at June 30, amounted to $10.1 billion, with $17.9 billion contributed in and $7.8 billion disbursed.
BP continues to reshape and focus its portfolio and since the beginning of 2010 has now entered into agreements to sell assets with a value of $24 billion. Total divestments since 2010 are targeted to reach $38 billion by the end of 2013.
In exploration, during the quarter BP acquired 43 leases in the Gulf of Mexico, which are awaiting regulatory approvals. It also resumed operation of its long-term exploration contracts onshore and offshore in Libya. Seismic activities are underway in Angola and Namibia and several exploration wells are currently drilling. A major seismic survey in BP’s Ceduna Basin acreage offshore southern Australia, was also completed.