It wasn’t that long ago that the politicians were going to deliver a huge windfall tax on the oil companies. Now that the new guys are in charge, all of that talk has suddenly stopped.
Of course now that BP has just announced that it will be in the red for the quarter, maybe all of the talk of excessively taxing risky commodities based businesses when they actually do well will go away.
Tell the government to leave us alone and stop screwing it up.
BP falls to $3.3 billion loss in Q4
LONDON (AP) — BP PLC, the second-largest European oil company, said
Tuesday it swung to a steep loss of $3.3 billion during the fourth
quarter of 2008 as sliding oil prices hit revenues hard.
company said its net loss of $3.3 billion during the October-December
period was well below the $8 billion profit in the third quarter and a
$4.4 billion profit in the same period in 2007.
For the full year, BP said net profit was $21.2 billion, up slightly on 2007’s $20.8 billion.
drop in the fourth-quarter performance was due to the collapse in oil
prices. In mid-July, oil prices were around $147 a barrel. Since then,
fears about the global economic outlook have pushed oil prices down to
around $40 a barrel.
When oil price changes on unsold inventories
are stripped out, BP remained in the black during the fourth quarter,
the company said. So-called replacement cost profit — a key measure for
oil companies — was $2.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, down on
2007’s equivalent of $3.4 billion.
Though the replacement cost
profit during the period was hefty it was at the bottom end of market
expectations. Analysts were looking for replacement cost profit to be
around $3 billion during the quarter.
BP blamed currency changes,
in particular the fall of the euro and the pound against the dollar, as
well as higher tax bills in Russia, for the weak performance.
For the year as a whole, replacement cost profit rose 39 percent to $25.6 billion.
said it will pay a quarterly dividend of 14 cents a share. Though that
was up on the 13.25 cents delivered a year ago, the dividend was
unchanged on the previous two quarters.
The markets gave a thumbs
down to BP’s results, sending the shares down 4.3 percent to 463.75
pence on the London Stock Exchange.
“BP looks like a company that
may have temporarily lost its way as it reported its first quarter loss
in 7 years,” said Manoj Ladwa, a senior trader at ETX Capital in London.
With the oil price so volatile, BP said it will continue to focus on cutting costs.
new chief executive Tony Hayward the group has been looking to boost
efficiency to close the gap on Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s largest oil
company, with measures such as 5,000 job cuts in order to streamline
“In the current climate we especially need to
maintain the momentum we have established in the drive to make BP more
efficient… The next year or two will be challenging, but we are
well-placed to meet that challenge,” Hayward said.
exploration and production profits are likely to suffer from the lower
oil prices, the firm said it has improved the efficiency of its
refining operations in the U.S.
BP has been dogged by problems at
its U.S. refineries, but has rebuilt capacity at its Texas City and
Whiting sites. Refining availability rose to 91 percent in the last
three months of 2008 — the highest level for three years.