BP boss Dudley ‘happy’ with group portfolio

Financial and market pressure is mounting on BP as the industry struggles
Financial and market pressure is mounting on BP as the industry struggles

BP boss Bob Dudley has indicated that the oil giant has no regrets over rival Royal Dutch Shell’s £47 billion takeover of BG as he faced shareholders at its annual general meeting.

The recently-announced deal has prompted speculation that a weakened BP - described as being like a “tired horse” by one private investor at the meeting - could itself become a bid target.

Mr Dudley was pressed over reports that it had baulked at buying BG itself a few years ago, and whether this was a mistake.

But he said: “We are really happy with our portfolio. I think it is not the thing for BP to have done.”

Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg played down the idea of more consolidation in the industry amid speculation about another producer such as Exxon moving in on BP.

He said: “It is not a given that if you take two oil majors and out them together you have enough synergies to make them stronger.”

The sector is under immense pressure because the price of oil has fallen by half since last summer, with BP also still counting the cost of 2010’s Deepwater Horizon blow-out.

The disaster, which killed 11 workers and spilled millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, has so far cost it $43.5bn (£29bn).

BP earlier this year said it was adjusting to the “new reality” of lower oil prices as it reported a 66 per cent fall in annual replacement cost profit for 2014.

It said it would cut investment this year by up to $6bn (£4bn).

Mr Svanberg told the AGM: “The world has turned into a much more turbulent place.

“The price of oil has gone back to its old volatile ways after four years of relative stability.