Dec 20, 2017

Back in the pack: the rebuilding of BP

Today, the most telling comparison is with Shell, the other UK-listed oil major, which gambled on a $50bn acquisition of BG Group during the oil downturn in 2015 when BP was still wrangling with lawyers in Louisiana courtrooms. Rebuilding BP would be hard enough in the best of circumstances but Mr Dudley is doing it as Big Oil's business model faces disruption on several fronts. With so much uncertainty over the pace of transition to cleaner fuels, BP is trying to make its oil and gas portfolio resilient enough for any market conditions. All the majors have cut costs sharply since oil prices crashed in 2014 but Mr Dudley says BP acted faster than most. Shares in BP have risen 46 per cent since the start of 2016, the second-biggest gain among the top five oil and gas groups, but it has been eclipsed by Shell, which has grown almost 60 per cent over the same period.

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