BP plunges into $20.4 billion loss on Russia exit


British energy giant BP plunged into a huge net loss in the first quarter after it decided to exit Russia over the country’s invasion of neighbour Ukraine.

The loss after tax stood at $20.4 billion following BP’s decision in February to pull its 19.75% stake in energy group Rosneft, ending more than three decades of investment in Russia.

BP had posted a net profit of $4.7 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

“Our decision… to exit our shareholding in Rosneft resulted in the material non-cash charges and headline loss,” said BP chief executive Bernard Looney in a statement.

The group booked a pre-tax charge of $25.5 billion owing to its break with Rosneft.

That wiped out the benefit of surging energy prices, which have been fuelled by fears of tight supplies following the invasion by major oil and gas producer Russia.

BP revenue jumped 40% to $51 billion in the first quarter from a year earlier.

“In a quarter dominated by the tragic events in Ukraine and volatility in energy markets, BP’s focus has been on supplying the reliable energy our customers need,” said Looney.

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