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Time to deliver

Release date:
27 October 2020
As bp releases its 3Q 2020 results, Bernard sends a message to thank employees for their performance in a tough environment

Hello everyone,

Before we jump into today’s 3Q results, I want to say a very big thank you for all your hard work – your commitment and spirit – in incredibly difficult circumstances. The past quarter, like most of this year, could not have been more challenging. 


Low demand and high uncertainty are hitting share prices hard – not just us, the whole sector. Those are factors we can’t control, but we do have the right strategy and we do control our performance. 


We said in February that as we reinvent the company we would have to perform as we transformMore recently at bp week, we said it’s time to move from excitement to execution. 


Today’s results show we are doing exactly that – operating safely, reliably and efficiently: 

  • We are generating cash – $5.3 billion compared to $4.8 billion in 2Q 2020 – and returned an underlying profit this quarter of $0.1 billion compared with a loss of $6.7 billion in 2Q.
  • Our costs are coming down – by 11% compared to last year, with more to come.
  • We are achieving more with less capital – on track to spend 25% less this year than originally planned.
  • We have brought down our net debt for the second quarter in a row, to $40.4 billion – now making further progress towards our $35 billion net debt target.
  • We have completed or agreed approaching half of our $25 billion divestment target. 


Safe and reliable operations

Nothing is more important than operating safely – taking care of each other while performing. But people are still getting hurt at work and we are still having incidents – some of which could have been worse. We must keep our focus on executing really well and being rigorous and systematic in everything we do.  


Please also watch out for fatigue. It is real and it is a danger – reach out to your manager, or the leadership team, if you need support. We are here for you. And the Employee Assistance Programme remains a great option.


Strong performance

Our resilient and focused hydrocarbons business has now delivered two of our five major projects for this year. Atlantis Phase 3 in the US Gulf of Mexico started up in August and the ground-breaking Ghazeer gas project in Oman came online earlier this month, well ahead of its 2021 schedule. 

Our hydrocarbons business is the engine driving our transformation and we’re rightly proud of how it is delivering safely, with capital discipline. 

Our customers and products business continued to perform really well despite the effects of the pandemic on market conditions. Earnings were up – yes up! – 3% in our fuels marketing businesses and demand was up for our lubricants, particularly in the big growth markets of China and India.


Strategic progress 

During bp week, we talked extensively about our new strategy and our pivot from international oil company to integrated energy company. This quarter saw progress here too:

  • We’re moving into the fast-growing offshore wind sector, agreeing a strategic partnership with Equinor in the US.
  • We’re heading towards our 2030 aim of more than 70,000 EV charging points with new plans for bp Chargemaster to install more than 1,000 in the next four years in a big contract with Police Scotland. 
  • And we’re partnering with Microsoft and the cities of Aberdeen and Houston to work together to reduce emissions and meet our respective net zero targets.


Getting through tough times

This long list of achievements is all the more remarkable given the anxiety everyone is feeling. These are very uncertain and stressful times – tougher than any I can recall in my living memory. We can’t go around what’s happening, or go over it. We have to go through it. And we will.


You are the very best and today’s results show why I say that. Thank you so much for everything you do.



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