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Fourth quarter and full year 2018 results

Release date:
5 February 2019
Building business momentum, growing earnings and returns 
"We now have a powerful track record of safe and reliable performance, efficient execution and capital discipline. And we’re doing this while growing the business – bringing more high-quality projects online, expanding marketing in the Downstream and doing transformative deals such as BHP. Our strategy is clearly working and will serve the company and our shareholders well through the energy transition."


Bob Dudley – group chief executive


  • More than double full-year earnings, near double returns
    • Underlying replacement cost profit for full year 2018 was $12.7 billion, more than double that reported for 2017. The fourth quarter result was $3.5 billion, driven by the strong operating performance across all business segments.
    • Return on average capital employed was 11.2% compared to 5.8% in 2017.
    • Operating cash flow, excluding Gulf of Mexico oil spill payments, for full year 2018 was $26.1 billion, including a $2.6 billion working capital build (after adjusting for inventory holding losses). This compares with $24.1 billion for 2017, which included a working capital release of $2.6 billion. 
    • Gulf of Mexico oil spill payments in 2018 totalled $3.2 billion on a post-tax basis. 
    • Total divestments and other proceeds in 2018 were $3.5 billion. BP intends to complete more than $10 billion divestments over the next two years, which includes plans announced following the BHP transaction.
    • Dividend of 10.25 cents a share announced for the fourth quarter, 2.5% higher than a year earlier.
  • Record Upstream reliability, record refining throughput
    • Operational reliability was very strong in 2018 for both main business segments.
    • For the year, BP-operated Upstream plant reliability was a record 96%, and Downstream delivered refining availability of 95% and record refining throughput.
    • Reported oil and gas production averaged 3.7 million barrels of oil equivalent a day for 2018. Upstream underlying production, which excludes Rosneft, was 8.2% higher than 2017.
  • Growing the business, advancing the energy transition
    • Six Upstream major projects started up in 2018, making a total of 19 brought online since 2016.
    • Reserves replacement ratio (RRR) for 2018, including Rosneft, is 100%. Including acquisitions and disposals, RRR is 209%, primarily reflecting the BHP transaction.
    • Fuels marketing continued to grow, with over 25% more convenience partnership sites, as well as further retail expansion in Mexico. 
    • BP set out its approach to advancing the energy transition in 2018, introducing its ‘reduce-improve-create’ framework and setting clear targets for operational greenhouse gas emissions, towards which it is already making significant progress.
    • BP acquired UK electric vehicle charging company Chargemaster and Lightsource BP saw important expansion internationally.


RC profit (loss), underlying RC profit, return on average capital employed, operating cash flow excluding Gulf of Mexico oil spill payments and working capital are non-GAAP measures. These measures and Upstream plant reliability, refining availability, major projects, inventory holding gains and losses, non-operating items, fair value accounting effects, underlying production and reserves replacement ratio are defined in the Glossary on page 32.

Further information




BP press office, London: +44 (0)20 7496 4076, bppress@bp.com

Cautionary statement


In order to utilize the ‘safe harbor’ provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the ‘PSLRA’) and the general doctrine of cautionary statements, BP is providing the following cautionary statement: The discussion in this results announcement contains certain forecasts, projections and forward-looking statements - that is, statements related to future, not past events and circumstances - with respect to the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of BP and certain of the plans and objectives of BP with respect to these items. These statements may generally, but not always, be 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, the following, among other statements, are all forward looking in nature: expectations regarding the expected quarterly dividend payment and timing of such payment; expectations regarding BP’s strategy and its impact on BP and its shareholders; plans and expectations regarding share buybacks, including to offset the impact of dilution from the scrip programme; expectations regarding the underlying effective tax rate in 2019; expectations for cash flow growth to underpin the balance sheet; expectations regarding 2019 organic capital expenditure and depreciation, depletion and amortization charges; plans and expectations with respect to gearing; plans and expectations to complete more than $10 billion divestments over the next two years; expectations regarding Upstream full-year 2019 underlying and reported production and first-quarter 2019 reported production; expectations regarding Downstream first-quarter 2019 refining margins, and narrower discounts for North American heavy crude oil; expectations regarding the transfer of licences to LLC Yermakneftegaz; plans and expectations regarding BP’s wind energy business; expectations regarding Other businesses and corporate 2019 average quarterly charges; plans and expectations regarding Lightsource BP, including to enter Brazil and to provide power to AB InBev’s manufacturing plants in the UK; plans and expectations regarding BP’s acquisition of onshore-US oil and gas assets from BHP, including expectations regarding the timing of purchase price payments; plans and expectations regarding legal and trial proceedings including to appeal the decision in the Scharfstein v. BP West Coast Products, LLC lawsuit; and expectations with respect to the timing and amount of future payments relating to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill including payments for full-year 2019 and 2012 PSC settlement payments. 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 materially from those expressed in such statements, depending on a variety of factors, including: the specific factors identified in the discussions accompanying such forward-looking statements; the receipt of relevant third party and/or regulatory approvals; the timing and level of maintenance and/or turnaround activity; the timing and volume of refinery additions and outages; the timing of bringing new projects onstream; the timing, quantum and nature of certain acquisitions and divestments; future levels of industry product supply, demand and pricing, including supply growth in North America; OPEC quota restrictions; PSA effects; operational and safety problems; potential lapses in product quality; economic and financial market conditions generally or in various countries and regions; political stability and economic growth in relevant areas of the world; changes in laws and governmental regulations; regulatory or legal actions including the types of enforcement action pursued and the nature of remedies sought or imposed; the actions of prosecutors, regulatory authorities and courts; delays in the processes for resolving claims; amounts ultimately payable and timing of payments relating to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill; exchange rate fluctuations; development and use of new technology; recruitment and retention of a skilled workforce; the success or otherwise of partnering; the actions of competitors, trading partners, contractors, subcontractors, creditors, rating agencies and others; our access to future credit resources; business disruption and crisis management; the impact on our reputation of ethical misconduct and non-compliance with regulatory obligations; trading losses; major uninsured losses; decisions by Rosneft’s management and board of directors; the actions of contractors; natural disasters and adverse weather conditions; changes in public expectations and other changes to business conditions; wars and acts of terrorism; cyber-attacks or sabotage; and other factors discussed elsewhere in this report, under “Principal risks and uncertainties” in our Form 6-K for the period ended 30 June 2018 and “Risk factors” in BP Annual Report and Form 20-F 2017 as filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.