BP rebounds into $5.62-billion net profit in second quarter

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British energy giant BP rebounded into net profit in the second quarter of 2011, aided by high oil prices, after a huge loss last year in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster, it said Tuesday.

Earnings after taxation hit $5.62 billion (3.87 billion euros) in the three months to the end of June, BP said in a results statement.

That compared with an enormous loss of $17.15 billion in the second quarter of 2010, when it was slammed by spiralling costs from the devastating oil spill.

However, production sank 10.7 percent to 3.43 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, following suspension of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Output was also hit as the group sold of $25 billion of assets to help foot the bill for the disaster.

But the company was lifted by high oil prices, which soared during the reporting period due to growing unrest in the crude-producing Middle East and North Africa region.

Total revenues soared by 39 percent to $103.84 billion, compared with $75.87 billion last time around.

BP added Tuesday that it continued to meet clean-up costs in the Gulf coast and has now paid out $6.8 billion in claims and government payouts to fund economic and environmental restoration.

And the group revealed that total cost now stands at $40.7 billion, down from previous guidance of $41.3 billion.

The group took a $600-million credit after reaching settlements with MOEX USA Corporation, a US subsidiary of Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co which has a 10-percent stake in the Macondo well project, and contractor Weatherford.

The company was ravaged after last year's explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig which resulted in the death of 11 workers and caused millions of barrels of oil to spew into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The blast on April 20, 2010, sparked what was widely regarded as the worst environmental catastrophe in US history.

© 2011 AFP

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