Oil major BP has reported lower profits and says it will cut spending on exploration because of the fall in oil prices. But as Hayley Platt reports a surprise contribution from its stake in Rosneft helped it beat forecasts.
Shell, Exxon and now BP - all have been hurt by low oil prices. The UK giant's underlying profits in the final quarter were down 20% on a year earlier at $2.2bln. Full year profit was 10% lower at just over $12bln. BP is slashing capital spending by a fifth to $20bln as a result. Reuters Tom Bergin says it's failing to keep up with its rivals. SOUNDBITE:Tom Bergin, Reuters correspondent, saying (English): "It said it was going to be spending around 20 percent less in 2015 than it had previously indicated. What that reflects is a different strategy really from some of its larger rivals like Shell or Exxon. Shell and Exxon have said in the past week they're going to keep steady, keep on investing." The oil giant did at least beat fourth quarter expectations thanks to a surprise profit from its Russian partner Rosneft. The $470 million boost helped shares rise around 5 percent before falling back. But profits from oil production were down 42% and CEO Bob Dudley said the firm had entered a "challenging phase" Clean-up costs relating to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico crisis are still an issue. The total cost of the spill now stands at $43.5 billion dollars. SOUNDBITE:Tom Bergin, Reuters correspondent, saying (English): "That reflects the fact that BP has burned through the money that it had set aside to cover these charges. This includes the twenty thousand dollar fund it had set up." BP's already announced plans to axe thousands of jobs by the end of the year as part of a $1 billion restructuring program. It also wrote down $3.6bln 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 $1bln