BP Output Rises as CEO Hayward Sees Costs Falling $1 Billion More Than
Expected by Year-End
Compared to the same period last year, BP's reported daily production
jumped 4 per cent to more than 4 million barrels of oil equivalent in the
three months to end-June. Also, the $2 billion reduction in cash costs
targeted for 2009 as a whole has already been exceeded and a further $1 billion
saving is expected over the remainder of the year, the company said today.
Announcing second quarter replacement cost profits of $3,140 million -
up over 30 per cent on the first quarter, chief executive Tony Hayward said
BP was delivering good performance in a very tough environment.
"We are in turbulent times,
volatile and uncertain. But we continue to steer a steady course through
choppy waters. Two years ago we set out to restore our ability to compete
more effectively with our rivals in the sector.
"The momentum we established in
that process remains very powerful. Despite the current climate, we are
making good progress in growing our upstream, turning around our downstream
and driving cost-efficiency across the group."
Hayward said progress was underpinned
by a simplified organisation, deepening expertise at the operational level
and unrelenting focus on operational safety and integrity. Cash costs had
been reduced by more than $2 billion in the first half of the year, versus
the same period last year.
"We have already surpassed the
target we set ourselves at the beginning of this year for cash costs but we
are by no means complacent. We will continue to push efficiencies into the
group and make sure every dollar counts. Based on this strong progress, we
can expect cash costs for the full year to be down by more than $3 billion
compared with 2008." Highlights for the quarter were:
- Replacement cost profit of
$3,140 million, up 32 per cent from $2,387 million in the first quarter
but down 53 per cent on the same period last year
- Reported daily oil and gas
production of 4.005 million barrels of oil equivalent, 4 per cent higher
than the second quarter of 2008
- Capital spending for the
quarter of $4.8 billion and $9.4 billion for the half year
- Net cash from operations of
$6.8 billion versus $6.7 billion a year ago
- Net debt of $27.1 billion and
gearing at 22 per cent
- An effective tax rate of 35
per cent, unchanged from last year.
BP's dividend for the quarter was 14
cents a share, the same as for the corresponding period in 2008. In sterling
terms this represents a rise of 21 per cent year-on-year, a reflection of the
Hayward said the latest economic data
suggested the global economy could stabilise this summer but that any
recovery, whenever it comes, would likely be sluggish: "The overall
picture is of energy demand now stabilising following significant falls in the
first half of the year. We see little evidence of any growth in demand and
expect the recovery to be long and drawn out."
He said expected organic capital
investment for 2009 of under $20 billion remained in line with previous
predictions. Disposal proceeds for the first six months totalled $1 billion
and were envisaged at $2-3 billion for the year as a whole.
He added that year on year production
growth was expected to continue in the second half, though normal seasonal
maintenance turnarounds would impact the third quarter. In the Downstream,
with Texas City restored to full capability, overall refining availability
rose 5.3 percentage points versus the same period last year, to 93.6 per
cent, its highest level since the first quarter of 2005. For the half year,
refining and marketing costs were down 15 per cent compared with the same
period in 2008.
In remarks scheduled for financial
analysts later today, Hayward said the strategy of the past two years remains
firmly on track. "In the Upstream we said we would deliver profitable
growth, and we are doing so. Costs are coming down, capital efficiency is
rising and we expect output to grow again this year.
"In the Downstream we said we
would turn around the business and we are doing so. In Alternative Energy we
said we would refocus and simplify the business and that is what we are
doing. And we are not letting up on driving efficiency across the group.
"Our view remains that the right
current balance is to continue to pay the dividend and maintain investment to
grow the company. We will continue to use the capacity of our balance sheet
while the industry cost structure adjusts."
This press statement contains forward
looking statements, particularly those regarding costs; energy demand; global
economic recovery; organic capital investment; disposal proceeds; production
growth; impact of turnarounds; strategy; capital efficiency; output growth;
downstream turnaround; refocus and simplification of Alternative Energy;
continuing focus on efficiency; dividend payments; investments and use of
balance sheet capacity. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve
risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on
circumstances that will or may occur in the future. Actual results may differ
from those expressed in such statements, depending on a variety of factors,
including the timing of bringing new fields on stream; future levels of
industry product supply; demand and pricing; operational problems; general
economic conditions; political stability and economic growth in relevant
areas of the world; changes in laws and governmental regulations; exchange
rate fluctuations; development and use of new technology; changes in public
expectations and other changes in business conditions; the actions of
competitors; natural disasters and adverse weather conditions; wars and acts
of terrorism or sabotage. For more information you should refer to our Annual
Report and Accounts 2008 and our 2008 Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with
the US Securities and Exchange Commission. size font>
The full text of BP p.l.c.'s 2009
half-yearly financial report is available at