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Third quarter 2018 results

Release date:
30 October 2018
Strong earnings driven by high reliability and major project delivery
"Our focus on safe and reliable operations and delivering our strategy is driving strong earnings and growing cash flow. Operations are running well across BP and we’re bringing new, higher-margin barrels into production faster through efficient project execution. We have made very good progress with our acquisition from BHP and expect to complete the transaction tomorrow. This will transform our position in the US Lower 48 and we expect it to create significant value for BP. This progress all underpins our commitment to growing distributions for our shareholders."


Bob Dudley – Group chief executive



  • Strong earnings and cash flow:
    • Underlying replacement cost profit for the third quarter of 2018 was $3.8 billion, more than double a year earlier and the highest quarterly result in more than five years, including significant earnings growth from the Upstream and Rosneft.
    • Operating cash flow excluding Gulf of Mexico oil spill payments for the quarter was $6.6 billion, including a $0.7 billion working capital build (after adjusting for inventory holding gains).
    • Gulf of Mexico oil spill payments in the quarter were $0.5 billion on a post-tax basis.
    • Dividend of 10.25 cents a share for the third quarter, 2.5% higher than a year earlier. 


  • Strong operating performance:
    • Very good reliability, with the highest quarterly refining availability for 15 years and BP-operated Upstream plant reliability of 95%.
    • Reported oil and gas production was 3.6 million barrels of oil equivalent a day. Upstream underlying production, which excludes Rosneft and is adjusted for portfolio changes and pricing effects, was 6.8% higher than a year earlier, driven by ramp-up of new projects. Rosneft production of 1.2 million barrels of oil equivalent a day was 2.8% higher than last year. 


  • Strategic delivery:
    • The Thunder Horse Northwest expansion project in the Gulf of Mexico and the Western Flank B project in Australia began production in October, both ahead of schedule. They are BP’s fourth and fifth Upstream major projects to start up in 2018.
    • Further expansion in fuels marketing, with now around 1,300 convenience partnership sites worldwide and network growth in Mexico.


  • BHP transaction:
    • The acquisition from BHP is expected to complete on 31 October.
    • Reflecting confidence in cash generation and continued capital discipline, and assuming oil prices remain firm in the recent trading range, BP now expects to fund the entire transaction from available cash, rather than using equity for the deferred consideration. In this case, proceeds from the associated $5-6 billion of divestments will be used to reduce net debt.


RC profit (loss), underlying RC profit, 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, nonoperating items, fair value accounting effects and underlying production are defined in the Glossary on page 31.

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 underlying ETR for 2018; expectations regarding the expected quarterly dividend payment and timing of such payment; plans and expectations to maintain a strong financial framework and capital discipline; expectations regarding 2018 organic capital expenditure; plans and expectations with respect to gearing; expectations regarding divestment transactions, 2018 divestment proceeds and use of divestment proceeds to reduce debt; expectations regarding Upstream fourth-quarter 2018 reported production; expectations regarding Downstream fourth-quarter 2018 refining margins and turnaround activity, including at the Whiting refinery; expectations regarding second-half 2018 decommissioning provision impacts; expectations regarding the amount of Rosneft dividends payable to BP; expectations regarding BP’s operated position in the Santos basin in Brazil; plans and expectations regarding the Lightsource BP joint venture with Hassan Allam Holding; plans and expectations regarding the agreements relating to BP’s increase in its interest in the Clair field and divestment of its interest in the Greater Kuparuk Area and holding in the Kuparuk Transportation Company; plans and expectations regarding BP’s acquisition of onshore-US oil and gas assets from BHP, including expectations regarding the purchase price, timing of closing, financing of the transaction and longer-term value creation; plans and expectations regarding share buybacks, including to offset the impact of dilution from the scrip programme; plans and expectations regarding the operation of and sale of BP’s interest in the Rhum field; 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 2018 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 forwardlooking 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 fields onstream; the timing, quantum and nature of certain 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 results announcement 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.