Storms hit BP profits25/04/2006 - 08:32:29
UK oil giant BP posted a 4% fall in first-quarter profits today as it felt the effects of storm damage to rigs and the shutdown of its biggest refinery.
Profits totalled $5.27bn (£2.95bn/€4.2bn) between January and March compared with $5.49bn (£3.07bn/€4.4bn) a year ago as the setbacks in North America meant BP was unable to capitalise fully on high oil prices.
Hurricanes knocked out its Thunder Horse rig in the Gulf of Mexico and production has yet to be restarted, contributing to group output falling below last year at a time when crude oil prices averaged $61.79 – or 5% higher than the final quarter of 2005.
Chief executive Lord Browne believed oil prices would remain strong due to disruption of supplies from Nigeria and concerns over a political stand-off with Iran.
Daily output during the quarter totalled 4.035 million barrels of oil compared with 4.101 million during the corresponding period a year earlier.
In its refining business, BP said its Texas City refinery in the United States was operating again at a limited level after hurricanes and a fatal fire forced its closure last year.
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