BP posted its first loss in almost two decades yesterday as the cost of cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico spill hit US$40.9 billion (Dh150.22bn).
The UK company booked a loss of $3.7bn for the full year, compared with a profit of $16.6bn in 2009. BP's clean-up bill for the Gulf of Mexico spill increased by an additional $1bn during the fourth quarter of last year.
But BP also announced it would resume its corporate dividend programme, at 7 cents per share, and that it intended to see the dividend level grow over time as the company improved financially. BP's dividend programme was previously suspended in June and offered twice as much a share, at 14 cents, before last year's Gulf of Mexico spill.
This year "will be a year of recovery and consolidation as we implement the changes we have identified to reduce operational risk and meet our commitments arising from the spill", said Bob Dudley, the chief executive of BP. "But it will also be a year in which we have the opportunity to reset the company, adjusting the shape of our business, and focus on growing value for shareholders."
While BP plans to divest half of its US refining capacity, it held out the prospect of long-term growth by announcing it intended to invest in new energy exploration and partnerships.
Last month, BP aligned with the Russian state-controlled Rosneft, citing the partnership as a key step while seeking material positions in the world's leading hydrocarbon basins. But BP has warned a deal could be delayed by court proceedings launched by its other Russian venture, TNK-BP.