BP shares rally after results boost
Shares at British Petroleum surged today after the oil giant posted a smaller than expected drop in profits and signalled a $10bn (€7.2bn) sale of assets.
A big chunk of the proceeds - due before the end of 2015 - will be distributed to shareholders, mainly in the form of buy-backs. Shares opened more than 3pc higher as BP also announced an improved quarterly dividend.
Its overall charge relating to the Gulf of Mexico disaster in 2010, which left 11 workers dead and sparked the worst oil spill in US history, stood at $42.5bn at the end of September, but this was little changed on three months earlier.
The London-based company has benefited from a recent ruling by a US federal appeals court that the terms of a compensation agreement struck with BP last year should be reviewed to help stem bogus or inflated claims.
Underlying profits for the three months to September 30 were $3.7bn, a fall of 26pc on a year earlier but better than City forecasts for a decline of 37pc.
BP set aside $8bn for shareholders earlier this year as part of proceeds from the reshaping of the oil giant's Russian business. And it previously sold assets worth $38bn to pay for the Gulf of Mexico spill.