Image courtesy of BP/Flickr.

BP reported a $583 million loss in the first quarter as low oil prices continued to squeeze upstream profits.

The company reported a $583 million loss in the first quarter compared to a $2.60 billion profit a year ago and a replacement cost (RC) loss of $485 million, down from a RC profit of $2.10 billion in the first quarter of 2015.

RC loss per ordinary share came in at $2.63, down from an $11.54 per share profit in the same quarter last year.

First quarter underlying replacement cost profit fell to $532 million from $2.57 billion in the first quarter of 2015.

Underlying replacement cost profit per ordinary share stood at $2.88, down from $14.14 per share in the year ago quarter.

Cumulative restructuring charges from the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2014 totaled $1.9 billion by the end of the first quarter of 2016, BP said.

All amounts, including finance costs, relating to the Deepwater Horizon were treated as non-operating items, with a net pre-tax charge of $917 million for the first quarter.

BP said it has agreed to simplified and accelerated procedures for processing business economic loss claims tied to the Deepwater spill that is reflected in the quarter’s charge.

“It is still not possible to reliably estimate the remaining liability for these claims and BP continues to review this each quarter,” the company said.

Net cash provided by operating activities for the first quarter held steady from year ago levels at $1.9 billion.

Excluding amounts related to the Deepwater spill, net cash provided by operating activities for the first quarter was $3 billion, up from $2.5 billion for the same period in 2015.

The company’s upstream unit fell to a $1.23 billion loss before interest and tax compared to a $390 million profit in the first quarter of 2015.

Downstream profits before interest and tax climbed to $1.78 billion in the first quarter, up from a $644 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2015 but still down compared to a $2.78 billion profit a year ago.

BP earned a $62 million profit before interest and tax from its stake in Russia’s Rosneft in the first quarter, down from $221 million in the same period last year.

Production for the quarter climbed 5.2 percent year-over-year to 2.428 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

BP said it expects second quarter 2016 reported production to be lower than the first quarter, reflecting PSA entitlement impacts and seasonal turnaround and maintenance activity.

“Market fundamentals continue to suggest that the combination of robust demand and weak supply growth will move global oil markets closer into balance by the end of the year,” BP CEO Bob Dudley said.


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