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BP suffers first quarterly loss in three years because of $2.6 billion in divestment costs

BP's Whiting Refinery, as seen from Lakefront Park. The company reported its 3rd quarter results this week.

BP turned a profit of $2.8 billion in the second quarter, which was about the same as during the second quarter of 2018 but up 16.6% as compared to the first quarter.

The London-based energy giant, one of the largest industrial employers along the Lake Michigan lakeshore in Northwest Indiana, pulled in $2.4 billion in profit in the first quarter. The company said it beat analysts' expectations of $2.5 billion in underlying replacement cost profit in the second quarter because of good operating performance that was offset somewhat by lower oil prices.

"At the midpoint of our five-year plan, BP is right on target. Reliable performance and disciplined growth across our businesses are delivering strong earnings, cash flow and returns to shareholders," BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley said. "And this is also allowing us to grow businesses that can make a significant contribution in the energy transition, helping deliver the energy the world needs with lower carbon."

BP's operating cash flow was $8.2 million in the second quarter, excluding its Gulf of Mexico oil spill payment of $1.4 billion. It's pulled in $14.2 billion in operating cash flow in the first half of the year.

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The energy company produced an average of 3.8 million barrels a day of oil equivalent in the second quarter, which was 4% higher than a year earlier.

BP employs more than 1,800 employees mostly represented by the United Steelworkers union at the former Standard Oil Refinery in Whiting, the largest in the Midwest.

The company, which is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BP, maintained its dividend at 10.25 cents per share.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.