BP reported a significant drop in the costs related to last year’s devastating Gulf of Mexico oil disaster in the first quarter as the UK oil group sought to rebuild its oil and gas exploration operations.
The company, which last week launched legal claims against three companies involved with the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig which blew up killing 11 men, said non-operating costs related to the Gulf of Mexico disaster were $384m in the three-month period to the end of March compared to more than $1bn in the fourth quarter. The total charge last year was $40.9bn.
The first BP AGM since the oil spill, and the first one with Bob Dudley at the helm, has come to a close. With the various disputes and controversies surrounding the company at the moment, did Mr Dudley come out of it with his reputation enhanced? And what about the other parties represented? Here is our take:
As we near the end of BP’s AGM, one thing we can report is that Bob Dudley is still standing. Which is more than can be said of several protesters against the development of Canadian oil sands who were carted out, in some cases lifted off their feet, after shouting across Mr Dudley as he tried to defend such developments.
It has not been an easy ride for Mr Dudley in his first AGM as CEO, nor for the chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg. Several representatives of Gulf of Mexico communities were banned and if the company thought barring such people would limit criticism on this front they were wrong. One of the toughest moments for the board came when one woman read out a testimony excoriating the company from the father of Gordon Jones, one of the rig workers who was killed almost a year ago today.
Thursday morning sees Bob Dudley’s first AGM as BP chief executive, and it is not the one he would have planned.
After taking charge last year in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico spill, the new BP CEO initially won plaudits for his plan to overhaul the company’s safety procedures.
Then came his big eye-catching move, the deal that could seal his reputation as CEO. His plan for a $16bn share swap with Rosneft would open up the Russian arctic for exploration and provide an source of revenues that could rival the North Sea.