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Looney-headed BP to take up to €15.5bn writedown, lowers oil outlook


BP CEO Bernard Looney

BP CEO Bernard Looney

BP CEO Bernard Looney

BP will take a writedown of up to $17.5bn (€15.5bn) in its second-quarter earnings after sharply lowering its long-term oil and gas price outlook as it now expects a faster transition away from fossil fuels.

The earnings are due on August 4 and CEO, Irishman, Bernard Looney in September is set to announce his strategy to "reinvent" BP including a smaller focus on oil and gas and a larger renewables business.

In a statement, BP said that the aftermath of the new coronavirus pandemic would accelerate the transition to a lower-carbon economy in line with the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

"We have reset our price outlook to reflect that impact and the likelihood of greater efforts to 'build back better' towards a Paris-consistent world," Looney said in a statement.

BP shares were down 5.5pc in early trading.

BP revised its assumptions for benchmark Brent crude oil prices to an average of about $55 a barrel between 2021 and 2050 and Henry Hub gas to $2.90 per million British thermal units.

The revised prices are down around 30pc from previous assumptions, a company spokesman said.

BP also sharply increased the assumed price it will have to pay governments for carbon dioxide emitted from its oil and gas activities to $100 per tonne of CO2 in 2030 from a previous $40 a tonne.

As a result, BP will take non-cash impairment charges and write-offs in the second quarter in a range of $13bn to $17.5bn after tax, the company said.

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