BP shares in focus as group brings forward Aussie refinery closure
BP Plc (LON:BP) plans to cease production at a refinery in Queensland in Australia next month, ahead of a previously announced schedule, Reuters has reported. BP’s share price has been little changed in today’s trading, having inched 0.09 percent higher to 442.50p as of 10:09 BST, with the movement largely in line with the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.04 percent higher at 6,812.26 points. BP’s shares have lost about 10 percent over the past year.
Reuters this morning quoted a BP spokeswoman as saying that the FTSE 100 energy group would cease production at its 102,000 barrels per day Bulwer Island refinery in Brisbane next month. The company had previously announced the closure of the refinery by mid-2015 as it restructures its struggling refining and marketing business Down Under.
Australia’s refineries, owned by international energy companies such as BP, London-listed peer Royal Dutch Shell Plc (LON:RDSA) as well as US energy giant ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), have been pressured by severe competition from Asian rivals as well as high costs. Last year, Shell offloaded a string of downstream operations in the country, including the company’s Geelong refinery in Victoria.
The closure of BP’s refinery in Australia comes with the company trying to restructure its operations to counter the ongoing plunge in oil prices. Last year, the FTSE 100 energy giant said that it would spend $1 billion (£638 million) on group-wide restructuring in the coming year. The company has also reviewed its expenditure plans in light of the oil price outlook, noting that while it had previously approved projects at $80 a barrel, it had started testing each project at $60 a barrel to evaluate the resilience of its portfolio.
Extracted in full from Invezz.