Oil barrels

BP has seen its shares rise by almost 3% despite reporting a $485 million loss in the first three months of 2016.

The loss comes as a result of the latest in a long line of payments relating to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP took a $917m charge during the quarter, meaning it has now paid out more than $56 billion over the disaster.

The loss compares with a $2.1bn profit during the same period last year, however, it was an improvement on the $2.2bn loss reported in the final quarter of 2015.

Excluding one-off charges, BP posted a profit of $532m, despite analysts forecasting an underlying loss for the period. It does, however, compare with a significantly stronger $2.58 underlying profit last year.

Highlighting the effect the crash in oil prices has had on BP, the company’s oil and gas division posted a loss of $747m. During the first three months of the year, oil prices averaged $34 per barrel, $10 cheaper than the previous quarter and $20 cheaper than in the same period last year.

BP chief executive Bob Dudley said: “Operational performance is strong and our work to reset costs has considerable momentum and is delivering results.”

Earlier this month, BP shareholders rejected plans to increase Mr Dudley’s pay by 20%. Nearly 60% of shareholders voted against the plans, making it what is believed to be the second-largest shareholder revolt by a FTSE 100 firm.

BP kept its shareholder dividend at 10 cents per share, despite the loss in the first quarter, giving a boost to investors and its share price.