10 January 2002 12:37 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--BP's chemicals operations suffered a further slump in profitability during the final three months of last year, the UK-headquartered energy group said Thursday.
In a trading update, BP said the chemicals environment continued to deteriorate, with lower demand and weaker margins in many products, particularly in the higher value intermediates business. BP added that underlying volume growth remained under pressure in the difficult economic conditions.
No fourth quarter figures were given for BP's weighted chemicals indicator margin.* However, provisional statistics for Q3, released today, put the margin at $110/tonne compared with final figures of $105/tonne for Q2 2001 and $132/tonne for Q3 2000.
BP said its refining margins declined throughout the fourth quarter, particularly in the US and Europe. It explained that while average margins for the quarter remain above mid-cycle levels, current margins are very weak and have resulted in reduced throughputs at BP refineries in Europe and the US Gulf Coast.
Fourth quarter oil and gas production rose to a new record level of at least 3.5m barrels of oil equivalent a year. This represents an increase of around 3% over Q3 in 2000 or 4% after adjustment for disposals.
*The chemicals indicator margin is a weighted average of externally based product margins. It is based on market data collected by consultant Chem Systems in its quarterly market analyses, before being weighted on BP's product portfolio.
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections