BP Q3 refining/marketing profits soar, market weak

28 October 2008 08:40  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--BP's third quarter refining and marketing profits jumped to $1.97bn (€1.58bn) from $371m in the equivalent quarter of 2007 despite a weakening business environment, the UK-based oil major said on Tuesday.

The underlying result for the segment, which includes the energy giant's aromatics and acetyls businesses, more than doubled taking non-operating charges and gains and fair value accounting adjustments into account.

“We continue to make good progress with the turnaround of the segment, delivering underlying year-on-year performance improvement in both Fuels Value Chains (FVCs) and International Businesses, against a weaker external business environment,” BP said in a statement.

The financial results of the chemicals operations were not reported separately.

BP said, however, that chemicals production was down to 3.063m tonnes in the third quarter compared with 3.510m tonnes in the third quarter of 2007 and 3.441m tonnes in the second quarter of this year.

Chief operating officer of the refining and marketing segment warned last week that the chemicals business of the UK-based oil major was facing a global collapse in demand.

The fall-off, which became more noticeable around six weeks ago, had led to zero or even negative demand growth for some products, he said at a press meeting.

BP group replacement cost operating profits (RCOP) soared on the back of high oil prices to $10.03bn in the latest quarter against an RCOP of $4.04bn in the third quarter of 2007.

($1 = €0.80)

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By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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