BP counts cost of oil spill

BP swung to a loss of £4.9bn (£3.1bn) last year, hit by the cost of cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The net loss compares with the $13.9bn profit registered in 2009.

BP’s corporate and brand reputation suffered in the aftermath of the spill in May. Former CEO Tony Haywood was forced to resign after a series of PR gaffes.

The energy company says it has increased the amount it has set aside for dealing with the spill to $40.69bn.

Despite the full-year loss, the company says fourth quarter profit was $4.6bn, a 33% increase on the same period a year earlier, lifted by rising oil prices.

The company says it will continue to restructure the business by selling assets.

BP chief executive Bob Dudley, who took over from Haywood amid the worse of the crisis last year, says: “2011 will be a year of recovery and consolidation as we implement the changes we have identified to reduce operational risk and meet our commitments arising from the spill.

“It will also be a year in which we have the opportunity to reset the company, adjusting the shape of our business.”

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