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Bernard sends note to employees on 4Q 2020 results

Release date:
2 February 2021
Bernard has sent a message to everyone at bp with the announcement of the 4Q 2020 results

Hello everyone,

Today, we're reporting our results for another tough quarter at the end of an incredibly tough year  ̶  the most brutal I can remember in almost 30 years in this industry. 


COVID-19 continued to hit demand for our products  ̶  especially from our refineries. It still does. And last quarter, hurricane season hit our high-margin barrels in the Gulf of Mexico more than in most years. 


No real surprise then that our underlying profit of $0.1 billion and cash flow of $2.4 billion for 4Q are not our best-ever numbers.


But for me, that is not the story. This is:

  • You have kept bp running and the energy flowing with the care that has seen fewer people getting hurt and fewer safety incidents  ̶  contributing to 2020 being one of our safest years.
  • Our plants and refineries ran at 94% reliability and 96% availability. Really good considering the backdrop of challenges.
  • We brought three major projects online in the quarter  ̶  four altogether for the year  ̶  and Shah Deniz gas arrived in Europe from Azerbaijan, completing the massive 3,500km Southern Gas Corridor  ̶  ahead of time and 25% under budget.
  • And while fuel sales were hit hard by COVID restrictions, our convenience business (think food and coffee) showed real resilience  ̶  increasing margins by 6% and adding around 300 sites during 2020. All part of our rapidly expanding retail and electric vehicle charging networks.

A pivotal year

That is a strong performance to finish a pivotal year in which we set a new direction for the company  ̶  new purpose, net zero ambition, new strategy. 


We have taken out costs, been disciplined with our capital investments and completed major divestments ̶  all strengthening our finances and bringing down our net debt. And we are diversifying. We have a new offshore wind business in the US.


We are growing fast in solar with Lightsource bp, leading the UK’s first industrial decarbonization project (Net Zero Teesside) and joining forces with Ørsted to produce green hydrogen for our Lingen refinery. And we are building many new low carbon partnerships  ̶  with Aberdeen, Amazon, Finite Carbon, Houston, Microsoft and Qantas  ̶  with more to come.

Big step forward

Transitioning from an international oil company to an integrated energy company is not an overnight journey  ̶  but we have taken a big step forward in Year 1.


2021 is not getting any easier just yet. But much better days are ahead. And when the vaccines kick-in and the world pulls out of the pandemic, we will be ready to really take off. I am more convinced than ever that we are building something very special together.


For now, thank you! Thank you for what you have done and for what we are going to do. I am thinking of you and your families in these most difficult of times. We will get through this   ̶  together!


As ever  ̶  let me know if you have any feedback.



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