0

BP profits triple

The sign for a BP filling station in Westminster on Feb. 1, 2011 in London, England.

Kai Ryssdal: Here's today's dictionary entry for the word "oxymoronic": BP and good news.

After the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, not many associate BP with anything good. But today, CEO Bob Dudley declared a turnaround and announced profits have tripled since last year.

From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Scott Tong reports.


Scott Tong: The spill is so 18 months ago.

That's how BP put it today, declaring $5 billion in quarterly profits and reaching what the company calls a "turning point."

Here's the thing: analysts are buying it. Here's Fadel Gheit at Oppenheimer.

Fadel Gheit: This company proved how resilient oil companies are. Within 18 months, the company went from the brink of bankruptcy into one of the best, if not the best, offshore exploration companies in the world.

For believers, the comeback story has a few chapters: A renewed focus on what BP does well; a new, penitent CEO; and a smaller pricetag on the spill. Several companies that partnered with BP in the Gulf have agreed to help pay the costs. Last week, Anadarko ponied up $4 billion.

Gheit: These people came to the conclusion that was an accident caused by multiple parties and the all share in the blame.

BP and partners still face 600 outstanding lawsuits, including a water pollution case that could cost up to $17 billion. Still, analyst Jack Plunkett says going forward, BP will be active in one of the most profitable areas: drilling in deepwater.

Jack Plunkett: Including, of course, the Gulf of Mexico where they have huge lease holdings. They also have pretty exciting deals off the coast of South America. As you know, Brazil is now one of the most important and promising deepwater reserves.

Just Friday, the U.S. government gave BP a green light to explore again in the Gulf -- that's almost a year and half to the day after the spill.

In Washington, I'm Scott Tong for Marketplace.

About the author

Scott Tong is a correspondent for Marketplace’s sustainability desk, with a focus on energy, environment, resources, climate, supply chain and the global economy.
Log in to post0 Comments
With Generous Support From...