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BP sees multi-billion-dollar profit drop in final quarter of 2013

Oil floated in a marsh an entire year after the BP oil spill, as seen here off Middle Ground, La.
Oil floated in a marsh an entire year after the BP oil spill, as seen here off Middle Ground, La.
John Moore for Getty Images, April 19, 2011

BP released its 4th quarter 2013 earnings yesterday from London. The news was mixed for the beleaguered oil giant, still shelling out millions to deal with its legal woes in New Orleans.

The company reported that compared to the 4th quarter of 2012, profits were down:

Underlying replacement cost profit for the fourth quarter was $2.8 billion, compared with $3.9 billion for the fourth quarter of 2012. Full-year underlying replacement cost profit was $13.4 billion for 2013, compared with $17.1 billion for 2012.

BP attributed the dramatic weakening to factors outside their legal troubles, citing:

the significant impact of BP’s major divestment programme; weaker refining margins; and higher depreciation and exploration write-offs as the group brought new projects online and increased its investment in exploration.

And despite its 2010 Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, BP remains a presence in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as in the North Sea and Angola in Africa, where the company says it sees "strong growth in underlying oil and gas production."

On Mar. 4, BP will present to investors what it simply says are "future plans".

The company also pointed out that the District Court in NOLA has yet to rule on the first two phases of the civil trial, called MDL 2179, which completed in 2013, "and the Court could issue its decision at any time."

BP added that the Court has not yet scheduled the penalty phase, "in which it will hear evidence regarding the factors to be applied in assessing a penalty under the Clean Water Act."

To read the press release in its entirety, please click here.

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