BP Profits Off

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BP’s (NYSE: BP) profits fell as it continues to struggle with the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. The incident and subsequent oil spill may cost the UK company as much as $20 billion in settlements with private interests. Fines by the US government could range into the billions of dollars as well. The total charge BP had taken against the potential liabilities was $37.2 billion as of March 31.

Despite a large increase oil prices which helped the results of other oil giants which include Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX), BP’s profit for the first quarter was $5.9 billion down from $7.2 billion in the same period last year.

BP bragged about its new exploration and refinery prospects. The comments continue to be overshadowed by the largest mistake made by any multinational oil company in more than a generation.

Douglas A. McIntyre