Supermajor BP plc said Friday its third quarter production is estimated to be down by around 100,000 boe/d because of the nearly two-week impact from Hurricane Barry in the Gulf of Mexico.
In a preliminary report ahead of scheduled earnings on Oct. 29, the London-based operator said output in the U.S. offshore was “significantly disrupted by Hurricane Barry, with facilities shut down for around 14 days.” Scheduled turnarounds also made a dent.
“Taken together, these factors impacted BP’s 3Q2019 production by around 100,000 boe/d, with the overall production mix in the third quarter having a higher proportion of barrels produced from higher tax regions.”
According to the Energy Information Administration, Barry took a 276,000 b/d bite out of total U.S. crude production in July, the largest decline in monthly domestic production in more than a decade.
As a result of the turnarounds in its higher tax regions during 3Q2019, the underlying effective tax rate is expected to be around 50% in the quarter, “significantly higher than in the second quarter.” Full-year tax guidance of around 40% remains unchanged.
BP said it is well ahead of its planned divestment program and now expects to sell about $10 billion of assets by the end of the year. The divestment program was scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.
After spending $10.25 billion in cash last year to buy BHP’s Lower 48 assets, BP said it would sell a long list of assets. More than half of the total sales in the program were part of the $5.6 billion divestment announced in August of the legacy Alaska assets to Hilcorp Energy Co.
The Hilcorp sale is set to be completed in 2020. BP said it also has agreed to sell four packages of legacy natural gas assets from its Lower 48 portfolio.
As a result of the agreed divestments, BP expects to take a noncash, one-time impairment of $2-3 billion in 3Q2019 results.
“BP will also continue to review asset valuations as divestments in the U.S. Lower 48 progress over the fourth quarter 2019,” management said. “These impairment charges are expected to increase gearing in the short term, as a result of the impact on equity, with gearing remaining above the top end of the 20-30% range through year end.
“However, in line with the expected growth in free cash flow and the receipt of divestment proceeds, BP continues to expect net debt levels to reduce and gearing to move toward the middle of its target range of 20-30% through 2020.”
Across its upstream sector, BP said it continues to make progress to deliver major projects. Twenty-three of 35 startups scheduled online by the end of 2021 “are now in production, with production ramping up from the four projects that have started up so far in 2019.”