BP oil and gas output drops


Oil giant BP has revealed that it expects its production of oil and gas to fall by around 2.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2006, compared to the same period a year ago.

In a trading update, Europe's largest oil firm said production for the second quarter of 2006 was expected to be around 4.01 million barrels per day of oil and gas, compared with 4.112 million barrels per day a year earlier.

BP's production performance has been hit by the delayed start of the Thunder Horse platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Production at the $1 billion storm-damaged platform was due to begin at the start of last year.

But Citigroup analyst Jonathan Wright told the Bloomberg news agency that the opening of the platform remained "uncertain", with leaks suggesting that it may not begin operating until some time in 2007.

Production at BP's Texas City refinery has also been curbed following an explosion at the plant in March 2005. In today's statement the company said it would make an incremental payment of around $500 million in relation to the fatal explosion, which killed 15 people.

Meanwhile BP's net share of oil and gas from its Russian venture, TNK- BP, is expected to be around one million barrels a day for the second quarter of 2006, up from 994,000 in the previous quarter.

BP will announce full second quarter results on July 25th.

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