BP reports 1st Q earnings fall 79 percent

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LONDON (AP) — British energy producer BP says first-quarter earnings fell 79 percent amid significantly lower oil and gas prices.

BP says underlying replacement cost profit — the oil industry standard — dropped to $532 million, from $2.6 billion in the first quarter of 2015. BP reported a net loss of $583 million.

The company said Tuesday it had reduced cash costs by $4.6 billion over 2014 levels and cut organic capital expenditure by $500 million from the first quarter of last year.

Chief Executive Bob Dudley says "despite the challenging environment, we are driving towards our near-term goal of rebalancing BP's cash flows."

Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil, fell 34 percent last year and hit a 12-year low of $27.10 a barrel in January. It traded at $44.32 on Monday.