As Gulf Coast suffers, BP Q1 profits soar to $7 billion

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"As Gulf Coast suffers, BP Q1 profits soar to $7 billion"

One year after BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, “the cleanup isn’t done,” but the foreign oil giant’s first quarter profits are back up on surging gas prices.  “BP has not yet lived up to its legal, financial, or moral obligations to the Gulf and its residents,” says Antonia Juhasz, author of the book, Black Tide: the Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill.  Brad Johnson has the story.

“BP has not yet lived up to its legal, financial, or moral obligations to the Gulf and its residents,” says Antonia Juhasz, author of the book, Black Tide: the Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill. Sea turtles and dolphins keep dying, scientific research is stifled, and the spill still stains the Gulf Coast economy. Meanwhile, BP is contributing to pro-oil politicians and ramping up lobbying spending, fueled by $7.12 billion in first-quarter profits:

BP PLC posted a 17 percent increase in net profit for the first quarter as higher oil prices helped to offset continued costs stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil-spill disaster last year. The U.K.-based energy giant said Wednesday net profit for the quarter was $7.12 billion, compared with $6.08 billion a year earlier. Total revenue for the quarter rose 18.7% to $88.31 billion from $74.42 billion.

“There were some quite hefty forecasts that BP could take the $41 billion [in spill charges to date] significantly higher,” but it only marked down an additional $400 million, said analyst Jason Kenney of ING. “There’ll be a sigh of relief on that one.”

– Brad Johnson, in a ThinkProgress cross-post.

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5 Responses to As Gulf Coast suffers, BP Q1 profits soar to $7 billion

  1. Robert says:

    I entirely share your disgust with BP but I do get slightly irritated at your phrase “foreign oil giant” and “UK based”, as if it’s nothing to do with the US.

    Look at the ownership statistics and then tell me it’s nothing to do with the US:

    http://www.bp.com/extendedsectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9010453&contentId=7019612

  2. Robert says:

    Remember Piper Alpha? It blew up in the North Sea killing 167 men. It was owned by Occidental Petroleum Corporation, a US-based oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, the Middle East, North Africa, and South America.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_Alpha

  3. John says:

    I second Robert’s comments. I’d also like to add that BP wasn’t the only party to the disaster. Putting aside the responsibilities of the US regulatory authorities, the rig was managed by Swiss based Transocean, the failed blow out preventer was supplied by US based Cameron, and the unstable cementing was carried out by US based Halliburton.

  4. John says:

    Of course, so far BP is the only one of those to have contributed to the clear up. BP estimates the clean up costs at $40B, and it has set up a $20B compensation fund as part of that. What has anyone else done?

  5. Chris Winter says:

    In 2006, Robert Reich reports in Supercapitalism, Joe Barton scolded BP for its lax maintenance which led to oil spills on Alaska’s North Slope. In 2010, as we all remember, he apologized to BP for the pressure which caused it to set up that compensation fund.

    To me this trend seems headed in the wrong direction.

    Reich’s book explores the systemic changes that have led to American politics being dominated by corporate money. He says that corporations have no obligation other than to give their shareholders the highest possible return. He states flatly that “corporations are not people” and holds that they have no responsibility to be “good corporate citizens.” But he also advocates civil penalties for corporations that do damage (like the Gulf Gusher) and argues that citizens must make themselves heard so that Congress will pass laws giving corporations a level playing field.