UPDATE 3-British oil major BP pursues new projects despite profit miss

martes 26 de julio de 2016 07:35 GYT

* BP could sign off on three more projects this year -CEO

* Q2 earnings $120 mln below analysts' expectations

* Close to drawing a line under Deepwater Horizon liabilities (Recasts, add CEO comment, new projects, context, updates share price)

By Karolin Schaps

LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) - BP will forge ahead with at least three more new projects this year, its CEO said, despite the British oil major reporting a 45 percent drop in second-quarter earnings that prompted a cut in its 2016 investment budget to below $17 billion.

Tuesday's results missed expectations, with analysts surprised by higher corporate charges, including administrative costs relating to Gulf of Mexico oil spill liabilities, and a lower contribution from BP's stake in Russian oil producer Rosneft.

Rivals Shell, Statoil, Total and Eni also report second-quarter numbers this week, sharpening the focus on Tuesday's drop in crude oil prices towards $44 a barrel, well short of the $60 previously cited as the level at which oil majors can break even.

Though BP chief Bob Dudley acknowledged that the global oil glut's impact on refining margins and revenue continues to make for a challenging environment, he said that capital expenditure plans have been helped by a drop in associated costs.

"We're going to choose our projects really carefully and the cost reductions and re-engineering of the projects has really brought them down to what I think is a very attractive (price range)," Dudley told Reuters.   Continuación...