Multinational oil and gas company BP reported a cash imbalance in the first quarter of 2020 after being hit by the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. An expected result that reflects lower prices, demand destruction in the downstream, particularly in March, a lower estimated result from Rosneft and a lower contribution from oil trading.
Replacement cost loss for the first quarter was 0.6 billion US dollars, compared with a profit of 2.1 billion US dollars for the same period a year earlier.
“This extraordinary time for the world demands extraordinary responses,” said BP CEO Bernard Looney. “And thankfully we are seeing that just about everywhere we look around the world. Our industry has been hit by supply and demand shocks on a scale never seen before, but that is no excuse to turn inward. BP, like many other companies, is stepping up and extending a helping hand to those in need. We do it not because it is expected of us, but because we want to. That is consistent with our purpose.”
The net debt at the end of the first quarter was 51.4 billion US dollars, 6 billion US dollars higher than a quarter earlier and the highest of the last decade.
However, the company’s hopes remain high as well as its commitment to delivering its net-zero ambition.
“We are focusing our efforts on protecting our people, supporting our communities and strengthening our finances,” continued Mr Looney. “I am incredibly proud of the work that our people are doing in all three areas, particularly our colleagues in operations, from rigs to retail and everywhere in between, who are continuing to deliver energy and provide goods in the most difficult of circumstances. At the same time, we are taking decisive actions to strengthen our finances, reinforcing liquidity, rapidly reducing spending and costs, driving our cash balance point lower.”
BP keeps going with already announced investments. For example, the company confirmed its commitment to completing the sale of its Alaska business to Hilcorp. Furthermore, it signed a strategic cooperation agreement with one of China’s leading producers of polyethylene terephthalate plastic, China Resources Chemical Innovative Materials (CRC).