BP PLC on Tuesday reported impairments of $25.5 billion following the decision to exit its 19.75% shareholding in Russia’s Rosneft Oil Co.
As a result, the British energy major booked a net loss of $20.38 billion for the first quarter of the year–compared with a $2.33 billion profit in the fourth quarter of 2021.
“Our decision in February to exit our shareholding in Rosneft resulted in the material non-cash charges and headline loss we reported today. But it has not changed our strategy, our financial frame, or our expectations for shareholder distributions,” Chief Executive Bernard Looney said. As part of the exit from Rosneft, Mr. Looney in February resigned from the board of the Russian company.
Underlying replacement cost profit, the company’s preferred metric, rose to $6.25 billion in the first quarter from $4.07 billion, reflecting exceptional oil and gas trading profits, higher oil realizations and a stronger refining result. This was above the market consensus of $4.49 billion compiled by BP and averaged from 26 brokers.
Operating cash flow increased to $8.21 billion from $6.12 billion. Net debt was reduced to $27.46 billion from $30.61 billion.
BP declared a dividend of 5.46 cents a share for the first quarter, in line with the immediately prior period, and a buyback of $2.5 billion to be executed before its second-quarter results. This represents an increase compared with share repurchases of $1.6 billion during the first quarter.
As for the second quarter, BP forecast that its upstream production will fall reflecting base decline, seasonal maintenance and the absence of output from joint ventures in Russia. However, refining margins are expected to be higher and energy prices are expected to remain elevated.
For the full year 2022, BP continues to expect broadly flat upstream production despite the exit from Russia.
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