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Thursday, 10 January, 2002, 11:38 GMT
BP pessimistic about future profits
BP logo
BP profits are falling despite a rise in output
The global oil giant BP, which has seen its profits slashed by weak oil prices, is gloomy about the future, the company said in a trading statement.

Its outlook is negative, despite concerted efforts by oil exporting countries to cut production to push prices back up.

Refining margins are expected to be "very weak" and crude prices are expected to remain low, BP said.

Output growth is also expected to be low, the energy firm said.

Falling profits

During the last three months of 2001, the company's output reached 3.5 million barrels per day.

That was 5.5% higher than during the same period a year earlier.

But merely pumping out more oil is not going to improve the energy company's bottom line.

"Refining margins have declined throughout the quarter, particularly in the US and Europe," the company said, whereas for gas and power the low market volatility adversely impacted trading profits".

The reductions in the margins during the final three months of the year follow a 20% fall in profits during the previous three months when prices were hit by the slowdown in demand for oil and gas.

BP will publish its full quarterly result for the last three months of 2001 on 12 February.

See also:

28 Dec 01 | Business
Opec cuts exports to boost prices
09 Jan 02 | Business
Alaska criticises BP cutback
12 Dec 01 | Business
Oil giants to sell petrol in China
03 Dec 01 | Business
BP fails to strike Angolan oil
06 Nov 01 | Business
Cheaper oil hits BP profits
31 Dec 01 | Business
Tide turns against the oil firms
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