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BP Reports Profit Gusher, Warns Gulf Oil Disaster Victims to Expect Rough Trial
BP has joined other oil giants in reporting staggeringly huge profits for 2011:
BP returned to profit with a bang last year, posting net earnings of $23.9 billion on Tuesday, as the British energy giant prepared for a criminal trial over the US Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster. … [H]igher oil prices offset a drop in production, according to a group statement.
The London-listed energy major also signalled its recovery by hiking its shareholder dividend for the first time since the devastating April 2010 spillage that ravaged the company’s fortunes.
BP’s profits in the final three months of 2011 alone reached $7.69 billion. Combined, the five biggest oil companies made a record-high $137 billion in profits in 2011.
BP also reported $14 billion in cash on hand, and its CEO made clear he’s ready to pursue an Exxon Mobil-style legal strategy. “As I have said before, we are prepared to settle if we can do so on fair and reasonable terms, but equally, if this is not possible, we are preparing vigorously for trial,” said Bob Dudley.
“Nearly two years after the Gulf oil disaster BP has still not fulfilled its commitment to the Gulf of Mexico, but instead is preparing for their upcoming trial with a full war chest,” said Jeremy Symons, senior vice president of conservation and education with National Wildlife Federation.“BP’s announcement on their annual profits today shows that they have available funds for widespread restoration but choose to use their money for commercials showcasing their broken promises to the Gulf of Mexico.”
BP has pledged to spend $500 million on marketing over the next two years and has spent millions on lobbying Congress.
Meanwhile, Congress still hasn’t passed the RESTORE Act, bipartisan legislation to dedicate BP’s fines and penalties to Gulf restoration.
Congress must act to make sure BP’s fines and penalties are dedicated to Gulf restoration, rebuilding critical wildlife habitat. Help protect the Gulf’s brown pelicans by urging Congress to pass the RESTORE Act now.