BP today set out actions it is taking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing market disruption. It also provided an update on factors expected to affect its first quarter results.
Chief executive Bernard Looney said:
“The world is in a fight against COVID-19 and I want to thank all the people looking after us. The nurses and doctors, the first responders and the police. The people keeping food shops open and deliveries happening. And also the people we don’t see so much, like those behind the technologies that mean we can stay connected with our loved ones and with our work colleagues. Many, many are giving their time and risking their own well-being so that we can stay safe and sound. We rely on them, we are indebted to them, and I want to pay tribute to the sacrifices they are making on our behalf.
At BP we are mobilising in our own way across the BP world, taking action with three clear objectives: protecting our people; supporting the communities where we live and work; and strengthening our finances.
I want to recognize the courage and commitment of thousands of our people out in the field – in retail, offshore, at our plants and elsewhere. I also applaud the adaptability of everyone working from home as they support our operations. Together, we continue to help supply the energy the world needs.
Job security is a big worry at this time, so we have taken the decision that for the next three months no BP employees will be laid off as a result of virus-related cost cutting. We simply do not want to add another burden during what is already an incredibly stressful time for individuals and families.
Society rightly has high expectations of companies like BP. Given our reach, resources and skills, we have a special responsibility, especially during times like these. I have been admiring how so many businesses around the world are stepping up in a big way.
That is what we are trying to do at BP. We are contributing at a corporate level to help fight the pandemic, and we are also trying to give thousands of BP volunteers the latitude, support and resources to join the fight in the communities where they live and work.
We know there is more we can do -- and that we won’t get everything right -- but we are challenging ourselves to try to find more ways to have a positive impact.
At the same time, we are in action to protect the financial health of BP. This may be the most brutal environment for oil and gas businesses in decades, but I am confident that we will come through it – we know what to do and we have done so before. And we also entered this environment in great shape with good operating momentum and financial discipline, strong liquidity and extensive optionality in our portfolio. We remain committed to growing sustainable free cash flow and distributions to our shareholders over the long term.
We are now acting quickly and decisively to further strengthen our financial frame in response to the currently volatile and extremely challenging market conditions. We will continue to review these actions, and any further actions that may be appropriate, in response to changes in prevailing market conditions.
BP’s first quarter 2020 results are scheduled to be reported on Tuesday 28 April. Notwithstanding the interventions outlined above, the challenging environment is expected to have an impact on our first quarter results and there is uncertainty around how long current depressed commodity pricing and weakness in product demand will continue.
I have been incredibly inspired by the response of colleagues globally to the coronavirus situation. They are taking care of each other, supporting their communities, and identifying new ways to safely drive down costs and strengthen our finances. I truly believe that our purpose is driving our actions during this crisis. That is why I am confident we will weather this storm and emerge better able to deliver our ambition – to make BP a net zero company by 2050 or sooner and help the world achieve the same goal.
I am just as confident that the world will emerge stronger as well. As hard as that may seem today, we will get through this and learn important lessons in the process. We are seeing the best of people. We are coming together as a global community. We can come out of this crisis closer, more collaborative, and more caring, with all the benefits that brings for society and the planet.”
BP press office, London: +44 (0)7831 095541, email@example.com
In order to utilize the ‘safe harbor’ provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the ‘PSLRA’), BP is providing the following cautionary statement. This press release contains certain forward-looking statements – that is, statements related to future, not past events and circumstances – which may relate to one or more of the financial conditions, results of operations and businesses of BP and certain of the plans and objectives of BP with respect to these items. These statements are generally, but not always, identified by the use of words such as ‘will’, ‘expects’, ‘is expected to’, ‘aims’, ‘should’, ‘may’, ‘objective’, ‘is likely to’, ‘intends’, ‘believes’, ‘anticipates’, ‘plans’, ‘we see’ or similar expressions. In particular, among other statements, statements relating to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID19) including its risks, impacts, consequences and challenges and how BP is prepared for and responding to this; plans and expectations relating to BP’s ambition; plans and expectations relating to the financial frame and the investor proposition, focus on safety, the operational impact of COVID19, commitment regarding employee job security, the divestment programme including expectations with respect to completion of transactions and the timing of receipt of proceeds of agreed disposals (including the announced sale of our Alaskan business to Hilcorp), reductions in organic capital expenditure and reductions in production due to capex interventions cash cost savings and associated restructuring charges, full year 2020 production guidance and expected range, expectations for demand for our products, downstream refining availability and expected impact on first quarter results due to decline in demand, the effective tax rate relative to guidance, working capital balances and assessment of impairment charges, are all forward looking in nature. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will or may occur in the future and are outside the control of BP. Actual results may differ from those expressed in such statements, depending on a variety of factors including the negative impact of the COVID19 coupled with actions by OPEC+ including the significant drop in the oil price, overall global economic and business conditions impacting our business and demand for our products, as well as the risk factors set forth in our most recent Annual Report and Form 20-F under “Risk factors” and in any of our more recent public reports. Our most recent Annual Report and Form 20-F and other period filings are available on our website at www.bp.com or can be obtained from the SEC by calling 1-800-SEC-0330 or on its website at www.sec.gov