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BP plunges into $20.4-bn loss on Russia exit

·1-min read
BP's decision to pull out of Russia following the war in Urkaine has pushed the oil major deep into the red (AFP/Ben Stansall) (Ben Stansall)

British energy giant BP on Tuesday plunged into a huge net loss in the first quarter after it decided to exit Russia over the country's invasion of neighbour Ukraine.

The loss after tax stood at $20.4 billion (19.4 billion euros) following BP's decision in February to pull its 19.75-percent stake in energy group Rosneft, ending more than three decades of investment in Russia.

BP had posted a net profit of $4.7 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

"Our decision... to exit our shareholding in Rosneft resulted in the material non-cash charges and headline loss," BP chief executive Bernard Looney said in a statement.

The group booked a pre-tax charge of $25.5 billion owing to its break with Rosneft.

That wiped out the benefit of surging energy prices, which have been fuelled by fears of tight supplies following the invasion by major oil and gas producer Russia.

BP revenue jumped 40 percent to $51 billion in the first quarter from a year earlier.

"In a quarter dominated by the tragic events in Ukraine and volatility in energy markets, BP's focus has been on supplying the reliable energy our customers need," Looney said.

The European Commission will on Tuesday propose to member states a new package of sanctions to punish President Vladimir Putin's Kremlin for its invasion of Ukraine, including an embargo on Russian oil, officials said.

It comes after the EU on Monday warned member states to prepare for a possible complete breakdown in gas supplies from Russia, insisting it would not cede to Moscow's demand that imports be paid for in rubles.

bcp/spm

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